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Bulgarian Icons – Inspiration for Color and Pattern

November 13, 2011

Penny Peters recently visited Bulgaria and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the capital city of Sofia.  The crypt was filled with icons from Byzantine churches  from around Bulgaria which fell into disuse in the Communist era.  As Penny and I were looking through the vibrantly colored images of the icons, it was very clear to see that there were many dynamic color schemes using gold, orange, red – orange, scarlet, blue –green, white and black.  These were painted with tempera on wood.  Artists from the past (such as Klimt)  and others  studied both color and pattern from Orthodox Icons.  Gail and Penny

vivid checks - great contrast in scale of pattern and colors


when you look up close, you can see seams as if in Patchwork


Black and white, the most opposing and contrasting color scheme.


So many amazing uses of blue- green and orange and other values of those colors


An interesting color scheme using blue-green and orange. interesting architecture too


Colors and also detailed patterns


Sleeve grid detail


Intertwining circles with patterns

One Comment leave one →
  1. Barbara Fox permalink
    November 13, 2011 11:07 pm

    Interesting take on these beautiful icons. They checked pattern seems odd; as if they were created in the 21st century. Thanks for posting and for your comments below each. It’s wonderful to hear both of your thoughts on color and design. See you soon! Barb Fox

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