Page 290 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 290

Holy King Stefan Dečanski, the hagiographic icon painted by Longin
Longin decided in 1577 to paint at his own expense a hagiographic icon of Saint Stefan, the most beautiful artistic praise the Holy King has ever received. a well-known painter and a gifted writer, Longin painted icons for Dečani on at least two other occasions, both before and after 1577. This icon, perhaps created in accordance with the wishes of the monastery’s brotherhood, was the painter’s personal gift to Saint Stefan to help him with the illness from which he suffered. in the large central area of the icon, Holy King Stefan Uroš iii is shown on the throne between two sentries; from Heaven above, surrounded by cherubs, Christ emmanuel blesses with both hands, while two angels descend toward the King with laurels and a crown in their hands. although the scene is based on old and well-known portraits of rulers, through certain iconographic details we can already see the intent to glorify Stefan as a model holy king and martyr.

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