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For its 166th anniversary the National Museum in Belgrade opened the study exhibition Studenica – Eight Centuries of its Fresco Paintings by the author Bojan Popović, MA.
The idea for the exhibition was based on the aesthetic and educational concept. The exhibition Studenica – Eight Centuries of its Fresco Paintings represents the spiritual principles and aesthetic criteria of the Serbian mediaeval state and art through a unique cultural heritage the National Museum safeguards.
The exhibition shows the painting of the Church of the Holy Virgin (Bogorodičina crkva) which is the legacy and mausoleum of Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the Nemanjić Dynasty, created upon the wish of his sons – Great Prince Stefan Nemanjić, Great Prince Vukan and St. Sava, the first hegumen of Studenica Monastery. The inscription in Serbian-Slavonic (old Serbian language) on the ring of the dome tambour testifies to that. The painting of the monastery catholicon started in 1208/9 after the transfer of the remains of Stefan Nemanja, aka St. Simeon from the Monastery Hilandar to Studenica. This exceptional event was illustrated in the frescoes in the chapel of the exterior narthex and copies of those frescoes are also a part of the exhibition. For the painting of his father’s legacy St. Sava used exceptional artists who created some of the most valuable contemporary artworks of the then Orthodox world in the Church of the Holy Virgin.
This artistic solution of the exhibition has a goal to enable the visitors to directly, from close proximity, see the beauty and refinedness of the artistic expression that is eight centuries old but also to bring them closer to the spiritual and ideological context in which the Serbian mediaeval art was being created.
As a pearl of the Serbian Mediaeval art, the monastery complex Studenica was included in the list of cultural heritage under the protection of UNESCO in 1986.