Page 327 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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the mood of the country. Roughly contemporary fresco paintings make this mood almost palpable. Writing forty years after the Battle of Kosovo, Constantine the Philos- opher, in his Life of Despot Stefan Lazarević, provides some information about this battle. With the help of Biblical quo- tations his language reflects the sad feelings of the time:
This battle occurred in the year 6897 (1389), in the month of june, fifteenth (day). and he (Lazar) suffered a martyr’s death and now can be seen lifelike in the great monastery called Ravanica, which he built himself. He (Lazar) was openly taken by them (martyrs) and he is keeping council with them in the heavens. and then there was no place in that whole country where one could not hear the sad sounds of sobbing and weeping. There was nothing with which to compare it. it was as if the whole air was filled, as if in all those regions Rachel was crying and did not want to be consoled, not only because of her (murdered) children, but because of the God-appointed ruler. For he (Lazar) is no more, and they (the children) are no more. (jer. 31:15; Matt. 2:18).9
One of the best correlations between a text and an im- age can be found in the comparison of this quotation from the Life of Despot Stefan to the somewhat earlier repre- sentation of the Lament of Rachel from the Monastery of Marko (ca 1376–81).10 Here, in an expressive, almost sur- realistic way, through gestures, composition, and color, the painter eloquently depicts Rachel’s grief, cries, and despair. it is as if this Biblical figure lamenting her children had become the personification of either a grief-stricken moth- er or nation.
9 L. Mirković (trans.), Stare srpske biografije, p. 60: Ova bitka ie bila godine 6897 (1389), meseca junija 15 (dan). a on (Lazar) primi mučeničku smrt i vidi se sada kao živ u velikoj obitelji zvanoj Rav- anica, koju sam sazda, javno uzet od njih (mučenika) i s nima zboru- je na nebesima. a tada, tade ne beše mesta u celoj toj zemlji gde se nije čuo tužni glas ridanja i vapaj, koji se ne možne ni sa čim upor- editi, tako da se vazduh ispunio, tako da je u svim ovim predelima Rahilja plakala i ne htede se utešiti, ne samo zbog (pobijene) dece svoje, no zbog bogoizbomog gospodina, jer ga (Lazara) nema i jer ih (dece) nema (jerem. 31, 15 Mat. 2, 18).
10 V. j. Djurić, Vizantijske freske, p. 82, and fig. 87.
The Battle of Kosovo (1389) and Battle Themes in Serbian art
 Prince Lazar and his family, lithograph, Historical Museum of Serbia, Belgrade

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