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THE ICON GALLERY

The permanent icon exhibition at the City Art Gallery was created in 1975. It is in a separate building in the courtyard of the oldest Orthodox church in Plovdiv - the Church of St. Constantine and St. Helena.

Its rich collection comprises icons from the mid-15th to the end of the 19th century, predominantly from Southern Bulgaria. They represent a large part of our national treasury and are the artistic monument to the art of Bulgarian icon-painters.

Plovdiv is one of the major art centres in the country, rich in unique examples of the visual arts from the Late Middle Ages and the Bulgarian National Revival.

Such are the icons from the medieval Church of St. Constantine and St. Helena from the 16th century; the 17h and 18th century icons originating from Rakitovo, Hrabrino, Brestovitsa and Staro Zhelezare; the icons painted by the artists Simeon and Zahari Tsanyov from Tryavna; of Hristo Dimitrov and his sons Dimiter and Zahariy Zograph from Samokov; of Nikola of Edirne and other icon-painters from the Tryavna, Samokov and Edirne schools.

In the unique atmosphere of a hall specially adapted for the museum exhibition, the masterpieces of spiritual painting have a special impact. They remind our contemporaries of the eternal meaning of devotion and faith, which make us stronger and wiser.

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