Page 150 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Gojko Subotić
of the cross and the surfaces of the base of the dome were executed in tiers of large blocks of sandstone and lime- stone of different hues, interpolated by of two rows of brick with layers of mortar. Stone blocks were mostly framed by mortar joints and vertically placed bricks—thicker in the lower zones—in the so-called cloisonne technique. However, the cornices below the eaves, the frames of open- ings, the archivolts closing the gables of the particular sec- tions of the façades and the cubical base of the drum, and the entire dome as well were carried out in brick whose rows, in color and fabric, stood apart from the level sur- faces made in stone. The lunettes above the windows, as was customary, were an opportunity for ornamentation: the bricks, in fairly simple, mainly semi-circular rows, formed several motifs there. The manner of their arrange- ment and construction was neither rigid or strict. The best sample of masonry workmanship is the eastern fa- çade of the church, its silhouette slender; adorned areas clustered more closely together than on the other sides. The relatively tall surfaces of the externally three-sided apses broken by elongated windows topped with fields of ornamentation also contribute to the density of the fa- çade. With regard to this angle, the builder enlarged the
height of the upper portions in order to convey full pro- portional harmony.
The interior, subdivided by piers, received unequal amounts of light not only because of the diversely pro- portioned sections of the structure, but also because of unequal light sources. as in other domed churches, the greatest amount of light, chiefly admitted by the tall win- dows piercing the drum, spread over the surfaces of the subdomical area and the neighboring bays; it penetrated into the arms of the cross through three-light mullioned windows placed on the gables of their lower segments. But the smaller domes, raised high over the relatively narrow spaces in the corners, could not provide light of the same intensity to the lower parts, nor could light directly spread from them and illuminate the bays next to them to the same degree. in such an interior the lighting of the upper sections—a celestial residence in the cosmic understand- ing of God’s abode—was replaced in the lower zones by deep shadows, enhanced by dark fumes of candles and incense in which holy paintings lost their contours dur- ing most of the day.
as work on the wall-paintings was drawing to an end— probably in the summer or at the beginning of the autumn
 Queen Helen of Anjou and King Uroš I depicted as monastics, east wall of the narthex, Gračanica, 1318–1321 148

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