Icons, liturgical and other items
This collection, one of the most valuable and most important, not only in Ohrid and Macedonia, but also in the world, alongside icons contains parts of church furniture, church embroidery and liturgical objects from the Byzantine, post-Byzantine and the period of revival in Macedonia.
The most significant icons that are actually the core of the collection are on display in the permanent exhibition of the Gallery, and the rest, along with other items are stored in the depot.
Chronological background of the objects is from mid-11th until the first decades of the 2oth century.
The icons depict Mother of God, Jesus Christ and various saints and scenes and events from the Christian history. Some are further decorated with richly decorated silver revetments made in different techniques.
The remaining items in the collection are made from various other materials (wood, metal, textiles, and glass) and in various techniques. The authorship is known only to a small number of objects, but some may be attributed to certain painters such as Eutychios, one of the painters of the church of the Holy Virgin Peribleptos, anonymous painters from the workshop of Michael and Eutychios, monk Macarius, Jovan Todorov from Gramosta, hierodeacon Constantine from Shpat, Michael zograph, hieromonk Constantine, Dicho Zograph and others. We find signatures of masters on some of the other items, such as the revetment of a tetraevangelion, made in 1769 by master Angela(rios) and a silver lamp from 1830, a work of the master Veljan Rekali.
The value and importance of the collection is proved by the fact that there is no an important world exhibition of Byzantine art which does not have on display some of the Ohrid icons. A special feature of the collection is the number of icons from the time of the "Paleologan Renaissance" (a period when the Byzantine Empire was ruled by the dynasty of Palaeologues, 1261-1453), period of the real flourishing of the arts, particularly the icon painting.
The collection has several unique works of art such as the oldest icon in Macedonia (St. Basil the Great and St. Nicholas from around 1045/50); the relief wooden icon of the late 13th century portraying St. Clement of Ohrid, unique in Macedonia and one of the few of its kind in Byzantine art in general, and the only preserved mosaic icon in Macedonia, enthroned Jesus Christ from the 14th century. Also significant are some other items, including carved pillars from the iconostasis of the church of the Holy Physicians the Lesser in Ohrid the 14th century, the oldest wooden iconostasis in Macedonia.
There is the also the censer of gilded copper and enamel from the late 13th or early 14th century, the Eucharistic dove of gilded copper, enamel and glass paste from the 13th century, made in Limoges, France, as well as church embroideries made of silk thread and gold and silver fibers that have been applied to the church dignitaries' vestments.
The items in this collection mostly come from the churches in Ohrid and its surroundings. Most of the icons were painted the artistic workshops in Ohrid, some were made in the workshops of painters in other places in Macedonia and then were brought to Ohrid, and some, as gifts to the churches of Ohrid, were brought from the larger Byzantine art centers like Salonika and Constantinople.
Most of the icons from the collection as well as some other items have been exhibited in numerous international exhibitions: several times in Paris, in the National museums in Tokyo and Kyoto, the Vatican Museums, in Zagreb, in the National Museum of Palazzo di Venezia in Rome, in Krakow, the Episcopal Museum in Padua, New York, London, Utrecht, etc.