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ginning of September 1565, as seen from the inscription above the northern door, fresco-painting, entrusted to a group of local artists, was completed. They gathered around the new spiritual administration and in the course of the ensuing years repaired and added decorations in several big monasteries, among which—as already mentioned was Gračanica, whose outer narthex had also been rebuilt and closed.
in the Peć narthex the artists mostly repeated wall paint- ing scenes from the time of archbishop Danilo. But they also expanded on these, taking advantage of the possibility of painting the walls closing the interior. The largest parts of the upper surfaces, primarily the vaults, were covered with scenes of the Menologion in the eastern bays and the scenes of the Christ’s Miracles and Parables in the western, disposed in the order in which the Gospel was read on Sun- days before and after easter. There were special reasons for repeating as many as eight scenes of the ecumenical Coun- cils here: by returning church administration to Peć, the narthex regained its role in the hall where the prelates of the Serbian Church convened and made their decisions. in this space, the fresco of the Council of St. Simeon Neman- ja and the twelve apostles who appear on the piers in the middle, to whom the church in before them was dedicated were invested with the same meaning: the figures of Christ’s disciples were reminders of the missionary role of the bish- ops entrusted with the care of the body of believers. The councils, as at the time of independence, were presided over by Patriarch Makarije, the first head of the restored Church (1557), without doubt sitting on a throne with the figure of St. Sava behind him. On the same wall he is sur- rounded by the twelve spiritual heads of Serbia—the arch- bishops on the southern, and the patriarchs on the northern side. among them, on the pilaster, stands the figure of Ma- karije as the donor holding a model of the restored narthex, different in appearance from the one held by Danilo ii.
The figures of the celebrated Balkan anchorites, as well as of the saints meritorious for the expansion and preser- vation of the Christian faith, are associated with the row of the highest church dignitaries. The last among them, young gold-smith Georgije from Kratovo who refused to accept islam, was burnt at the stake by the Ottoman authorities in 1515. The emphasis on the local spiritual tradition was aimed at proving the right of the Serbs to their autocephalous church and fostering self-reliance: under foreign and infi- del lords in a land bereft of its own bearers of political pow- er, the Church assumed the responsibility of caring for and preserving the national character of the Serbian people.
The master painters of the Peć narthex were artistically mature at the time of its painting, probably educated in local workshops. They revived the tradition of painting and outstanding examples of their work are icons from Grača- nica dating from the second quarter of the 16th century. it is obvious that they were inspired by the “classical” works from the middle of the 14th century, especially by the wall
Patriarch Makarije Sokolović, pilaster on eastern side of the narthex, the Patriarchate of Peć, 1565
Patriarchate of Peć
  Inscription of Patriarch Makarije (Macarius)
on the north wall of the narthex about the ranovation of the Patriarchate of Peć, 1565

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