The Cultural History of Macedonia
Literature. The texts of the Thessaloniki brothers Cyril and Methodius, written in the new alphabet, mark the beginning of Macedonian literature since the language they were written in was the language spoken by the Macedonian Slavs of Thessaloniki. For that reason, the beginning of literary activity among the Slavic peoples is closely linked to the beginning of Macedonian literature.
Clement, Naum and Constantine of Bregalnitsa, the disciples of the holy Brothers, carried on this literary work. Besides his religious and educational work, Clement of Ohrid translated works from Greek. Of even greater significance was his own composition of original poems and sermons, making him the first Slavic-and first Macedonian-poet and sermon-writer. Clement was, in fact, the author of a large body of sermons, prayers, hymns and other psalmodic songs in honor of Jesus Christ, the Holy Virgin, John the Baptist and other Christian figures. Many of Clement's literary works permeated the oldest period of Slavonic literature, translated mainly from Byzantine Greek. His works are simple, immediate and intelligible (his "Song of Praise to Our Blessed Father and Slavic Teacher Cyril the Philosopher" is wonderful). Because of their clarity and beauty, they soon came to hold a worthy place in almost all bodies of Slavonic literature. It is certain that the educational work of Clement of Ohrid was carried on by Naum of Ohrid, but Naum's two scant biographies and numerous folk traditions do not provide sufficient information on whether or not he carried on Clement's tradition as an author and poet.
The oldest Slavonic texts proving the literacy of medieval Macedonia are the Assemani Gospel, the Zograf Gospel, the Codex Marianus, the Sinai Psalter and the Sinai Euchologion, all dating from the 12th century. It has been ascertained that they were either written on Macedonian soil or contain characteristic traces of medieval Macedonian originals. All were written in Glagolitic script, proof of the continued use of this alphabet in Macedonia.
Constantine the Presbyter, known in literature and in church history also as Episcope Constantine of Bregalnitsa, was one of the younger disciples of Cyril and Methodius. Constantine was the author of the collected Teaching Gospels, 51 sermons including 42 original works. He is also most likely the author of the Introduction to the Gospel, which celebrates the fact that the Slavs had obtained the Gospel in their own language. The Alphabet Prayer, an introductory text to the Teaching Gospels, likewise delights in the education of the Slavs. But the dilemma over whether these works belong to Constantine/St. Cyril or to Constantine of Bregalnitsa remains to be solved by scholars.
Medieval history holds yet another enigma for scholars of Macedonia: did Crnorizec Hrabar ever exist, or was he a pseudonym for Cyril, Clement of Ohrid or even Naum? In any case, the first Slavonic polemical text, O Pismeneh (On Letters), is a defense of the alphabet of Cyril and Methodius from violent attacks by Greek critics.
During the Middle Ages, monks and other church figures in Macedonia patiently transcribed and copied church works. Beside the famous Ohrid center, transcription centers also existed on the Holy Mountain, in the Monastery of Lesnovo and in monasteries on Mt. Skopska Crna Gora. There, the monks transcribed the Gospels, the Epistles, the Psalters, the Triodions, the Menaions, the OktoŽchoses and the hagiographies of the saints. Along with transcription, they wrote sermons about famous church figures and composed Christian poetry. They even wrote romances (i.e., about Troja and about Alexander the Great) and fables (i.e., about Theophane the innkeeper and about Eladia, the man who sold his soul to the devil in order to obtain a desired woman). All these had, of course, a deeply religious content. Also widely known are the Dobromir Gospel, the Ohrid Epistle, the Bitola Triodion, the Grigorovich Paremeinikon, the Slepche Epistle, the Bologne Psalter, the Radomir Gospel, the Macedonian Gospel of Priest Jovan and the Vraneshnica Epistle-all created in the period between the 12th to the 14th centuries. These works are confirmation of the penetration of the Cyrillic script among generations of anonymous transcribers. The oldest Cyrillic inscriptions discovered in Macedonia are on the headstone of Tsar Samuil (993) and a Varosh inscription dated to 996. Besides these kinds of church literature, Macedonian medieval literature is rich in hagiographic texts and apocryphs.
The Ottoman conquest of the Balkans obstructed and slowed down the pace of literary activity. Macedonian literature regressed, and became confined to the monasteries, particularly the Monastery of Lesnovo (Kratovo), the Mateyche and St. Prohor of Pchinya monastaries (Kumanovo), the Monastery of Slepche (Demir Hisar), the Monastery of Treskavec (Prilep), the Monastery of the Most Pure Virgin (Kichevo), the Monastery of St. John Bigorski (Debar) and the Monastery of Polog (Tikvesh), where large libraries were preserved and helped to maintain Slavonic speech, although only with great effort and despite great difficulties.
By the end of the 17th century, the so called damaskins or apocryphal texts, sermons and prayers began to spread among the Macedonians, Serbs and Bulgarians. The Damaskins grew out of the writings of the Greek writer Damaskin Studit, who used vernacular Greek in his sermons. In the translations of damaskins from Greek, elements of regional Macedonian vernacular were gradually introduced.
Despite obstacles, a number of significant Slavonic literary works were created on Macedonian soil during this period. The best known include Clement's Chrysobull, the Slepche Text and the Macedonian Damaskin of the 16th century; the Tikvesh Collection created over the 16th and 17th centuries; and the Treskavec Codex from the 17th century. All were handwritten and in great demand despite the fact that in 1710 the first printing press in Macedonia was opened in the Monastery of St. Naum, with a second press opened somewhat later on the Holy Mountain. But both presses printed strictly in Greek, while the handwritten texts were Slavic.
The first generation of Macedonian writers, including Joakim Krchovski, Kiril Pejchinovich-Tetoec and Teodosij Sinaitski, were educated on the basis of this church literature. But the second generation of Macedonian writers, including the brothers Dimitar and Constantine Miladinov, Jordan HadziKonstantinov-Djinot, the brothers Constantine and Andrea Petkovich, Rayko Zhinzifov and Grigor Prlichev abandoned church literature, as did the lesser-known Georgi Dinkata, Kuzman Shapkarev, Parteniya Zografski, Veniyamin Machukovski, Georgiya Pulevski and Dimitar Makedonski. They laid the foundations of the modern Macedonian language and literature and opened themselves to the influences of world literature. Contemporary Macedonian literature can be traced back to the poems of Constantine Miladinov and the literary opus of Grigor Prlichev (the poems "The Sirdar", "Skenderbey" and the "Autobiography"). These were beginnings which could satisfy the highest criteria of literary writing.
Architecture. The coming of Clement to Macedonia marked the beginning of a new period of art for the region. Objectively speaking, the history of art in these territories represented a history of church art. The influence of Byzantine art is indisputable, although artistic works created during the time of Clement and the time of Tsar Samuil are exceptions. The construction of the Church of St. Sophia in Constantinople had a decisive influence on establishing criteria for building temples in areas the Orthodox church dominated. However, during the Macedonian Empire of Samuil, new characteristics can be noticed in Macedonian architecture, long after the Byzantine architectural school had run its course. This suggests the existence of a seperate Macedonian school of architecture.
With the construction of St. Panteleimon in Ohrid by Clement (893), downhill from Ohrid fortress, the Macedonian Slavs gained not only their first great religious and educational center but also the conditions necessary to develop their aesthetic feelings, accepting and continuing existing artistic forms but expanding into new directions as well. For example, Clement used a ruined three-conchae church for the foundation of St. Panteleimon, added some original parts, and obtaining thereby new "oval" forms. A similar procedure was applied in constructing the Church of St. Archangel, built on southern shore of Ohrid Lake and later renamed the Monastery of St. Naum. Later on, in the 10th and 11th centuries, the building of three-conchae churches was abandoned and four-conchae churches began to be built (the Church of the Holy Virgin Eleussa near Velyusa), as well as churches of basilica arrangement such as the Church of St. Achilles on the Island of Achilles in Prespa Lake, the Church of St. Sophia in Ohrid, the Church of the Holy Virgin in the Strugan village of Vranishta and the Church of St. Leontes near Strumitsa.
One of the architectural masterpieces of Macedonia from the early period of Slavic culture is the Church of St. Sophia in Ohrid, renovated by Archbishop Leo between 1037 and 1056. Its size and the arrangement of the fresco-paintings in the sanctuary seem to suggest that it was constructed as a cathedral. It began as a three-nave basilica with a transept, dome and nartex, suggesting a transition to the civil construction of the 12th to the 14th centuries when churches usually had a square base foundation and cruciform construction. The beauty of St. Sophia lies in its exo-nartex with its open galleries and two towers ending in small domes. It is interesting to note that the Church of St. Panteleimon in Nerezi (1164) has a similar cruciform layout, but is enriched by five domes, characteristic of nearly all monasteries surrounding Skopje, and the churches in Mateyche and Staro Nagorichane near Kumanovo. In general, the five-dome cruciform church represents one of the main characteristics of medieval architecture in Macedonia. The diversity of architectural forms in Macedonia was enriched by the late 13th century church dedicated to the Holy Virgin Perivleptos in Ohrid-a single-nave church built to a very strict and precise plan, in which the voluminous mass of the structure was carefully structured to give a harmonious balance overall.
The secular architecture of this time was generally insignificant. There are no remnants which would serve as a basis for shaping a picture of the palaces, houses or even towns of the early medieval period in Macedonia. There are, however, ruins of medieval fortresses, built of large carved rectangular stone blocks. Ohrid Fortress is considered to be the oldest and best-preserved fortress in Macedonia; Roman historians mention Ohrid as a town of fortresses, but the remaining ruins visible today chiefly belong to fortifications erected by Samuil. The height of its ramparts is in the range of 10 to 16 meters, originally protected by numerous towers-the ruins of 18 towers and four gates remain. The fortress itself was often renovated and new parts added to it during the medieval period.
Skopje Fortress is a second preserved example of secular architecture in Macedonia. Archaeological excavations have proven that the site of the fortress was inhabited as early as four thousand years ago. Likewise, research proves that the large defensive wall of the fortress was built during the time of Emperor Justinian, in about 535. The fortress was constructed from the stones of the town of Scupi, destroyed by the disastrous earthquake of 518. The only parts of this fortress which remain are about 120 meters of ruins and three towers: one square, one rectangular and one circular. The age of the medieval town accompanying the fortress has not been determined. It is hypothesized that the fortress was renovated and expanded in the 11th century, during the second period of Byzantium rule over the region. The fortress was refitted to protect Skopje, as an economic site and strategic border town, from attacks by neighboring states and barbarians like the Scythians and Pechenegs of the north. The remnants of the Byzantine fortress later served as the base for the construction of a new, fortified town. The traveler Eulia Chelebia writes that Skopje was a fortified town, with a double outer wall built, like the town gate, of stone which "shone as if polished".
The subjugation of Macedonia under Ottoman authority both hindered the development of architecture and encouraged it to adapt to the requirements of Islam and Ottoman urban life. The church was replaced by the mosque as the center of religious architecture. Fortified towns gave way to open settlements where the inn, the hammam (Turkish baths) and the mosque, concentrated as a group of public buildings, became a typical characteristic of the Ottoman urban planning. These buildings became the central point of a bazaar; with the addition of a bezesten (a domed marketplace) and covered markets, as typified by Arab markets, the inn, hamman, mosque and bezesten became the pivot of urban life. This was the greatest influence of Ottoman architecture on Macedonian architects during Ottoman rule.
Eulia Chelebia records a total of 120 temples in Skopje, 45 of which large mosques. The best known among these include the Mosque of Isaac Bey, built in 1438; the Mosque of Murad Hainukyar, built in 1436; the Mosque of Kodja-Mustapha Pasha, built in 1491; the Mosque of Burmali, built in 1495, but since destroyed; and the Mosque of Yahya Pasha, built in 1504 and including a 50-meter high minaret. Bitola was enriched by the Isac Mosque, built over 1508-1509; the Yeni Mosque, built in 1559; and the Mosque of Jahdar-Kadi, built in 1562 by Kodja Sinan, the most prominent Ottoman architect of the time. Chelebia lists 70 Moslem mosques in Bitola. Later, in the 17th century, the Painted Mosque was built in Tetovo, richly decorated with beautiful ornaments.
Secular architecture includes the Kurshumli Caravanserai in Skopje, covered by numerous small domes coated with kurshum (Turkish for lead). The Suli Caravanserai in Skopje has also been preserved to the current day. Particularly attractive were the Daut Pasha Hammam baths, the Chift Hammam baths in Skopje and the bezestens in Bitola and Shtip.
Also characteristic of the Turkish architecture throughout the Ottoman Empire were turbehs (burial chambers) in which distinguished Ottomans were buried, and tekehs (convents), a sort of Dervish monastery. Particularly fine architectural examples of turbehs included that of Mustapha Pasha in the Isaac Bey Mosque in Skopje, the open Kral K'zi turbeh and the eight-meter domed turbeh in Gazi Baba, Skopje. Outstanding among the Dervish convents are the Sultan Emir Tekeh in Skopje and the Arabati-baba Tekeh in Tetovo. Unfortunately, there are no preserved examples of individual domestic dwellings from the medieval or early to mid-Ottoman periods. It is theorized that such dwellings were constructed with materials which did not stand up to the test of time. However, fine examples of 19th and early 20th century houses still remain in Ohrid, Krushevo Kratovo, Bitola, Titov Veles, Prilep and Resen, testimonies to how architecture was adapted to respond to the specific needs of Macedonian conditions. The houses of Ohrid and Krushevo are particularly note-worthy.
A number of early 19th century houses in Ohrid survive, generally two to three stories with a stone ground floor and upper floors of wood. These houses are characterized by numerous windows, wide porches and belvederes. Due to local climate, terrain and geography, houses were placed close to each other and constructed to face Ohrid Lake. They are usually colored white and are characterized by boldly arranged facades supported by consoles, wooden eaves and several additional details.
In 1927, Le Corbusier visited Krushevo and was delighted by the 19th century architecture unique to this small town. The densely-packed houses are characterized by magnificent architectural arrangements. Together they create a harmonious whole of various architectural elements and vivid colors, mostly light blue or light yellow. The arrangements are supplemented by projecting balconies, wide belvederes, built-in wardrobes, porches with stone-fitted floors and large, heavy wooden gates.
Fresco-painting. Despite a number of significant achievements, architecture in Macedonia in the early Middle Ages, compared to the accomplishments of Constantinople and Thessaloniki, was largely of provincial character. But fresco-painting in Macedonia in the same period equaled the greatest and most beautiful works of the Byzantine Empire. The finest works include the frescoes in Nerezi (1164), Kurbinovo (1191), Manastir (1271), the Church of St. Nicholas in Varosh (1290), the Church of St. Sophia in Ohrid (the second layer of the fresco-painting dates from the 13th century) and the Church of the Holy Virgin Perivleptos (1295). Macedonian is one of the richest regions in terms of medieval wall paintings, both in the Balkans and in Europe as a whole. Over the course of time, many generations of local painters created works of exceptional skill and beauty. Deserving of mention were the Deacon Jovan, Rufin, Michail Astrappa and Eutychius, Grigorius, Jovan Theorian, Mercurius, Jovan Zograf and his brother Makarius, Alexius, the monk Gligorius and the monk Yoanakis, all of whom worked in the period from the middle of the 13th to the first half of the 15th centuries.
The oldest fresco in Macedonia (only fragments of it have been preserved) is located in the Strumitsa Church of the Fifteen Holy Martyrs of Tiberiopolis, a local religious subcult of the Macedonian Slavs from the late 9th and early 10th centuries. Fresco-painting was particularly developed during the reign of Tsar Samuil, under the influence of the East. Unlike their teachers, who mainly came from Thessaloniki, Macedonian artists gave stronger emphasis to the expressions of the face and the compositions of the paintings are more explicit. Wall-painting was especially developed during the time of the Archbishopric of Ohrid (1018-1767), as proved by the frescoes in Vodocha (about 1037) and in the Church of St. Sophia in Ohrid (1040-1045). The frescoes in St. Sophia represent a rare artistic treasure from the 11th century, which greatly enriched the art of the fresco-painting in Macedonia. According to general opinion, the visual arrangement of the sanctuary of this church is the most purely Slavic in the development of Macedonian art. The frescoes in this cathedral are characterized by the postures of the figures and the archaic forms, united in an artistic and iconographic whole unique to church painting of the time. The fresco-paintings in St. Sophia represent the most significant preserved works of Byzantine painting in general. A different group of painters worked in the late 11th and the first half of the 12th century within the framework of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, creating the frescoes in Velyusa (1085-1093), Vodocha (the second layer of frescoes), and taking part in the renovation of the Church of the Fifteen Holy Martyrs of Tiberiopolis in Strumitsa.
The second half of the 12th century was a period marked by the beautiful frescoes in Nerezi (1165-1168), the renovated church in Velyusa (1165-1170), the Church of St. George in Kurbinovo (1191) and the Church of the Holy Virgin Perivleptos (now known as St. Clement) in Ohrid (1295). The frescoes in Nerezi ("The Lamentation", for example) and in Kurbinovo introduce a pronounced expression of the inner feelings of the characters, making these frescoes unique and exceptional. The refined colors, warm hues and of spirituality of the characters elevate the Nerezi frescoes to the highest levels of Byzantine fresco-art. Even in smaller churches such as the Church of St. George in Kurbinovo, the feeling of the inner experience of the characters is dominant in the dramatic scenes. The pronounced psychological element in the characters is likewise noticed in the fresco-paintings created in a later period, under new conditions.
Dramatic scenes depicted by the frescoes in the Church of the Holy Virgin Perivleptos in Ohrid were expressed by the artists with near-documentary precision. These frescoes are characteristic of the early period of the two great masters of fresco-painting in Macedonia, Michail Astrappa and Eutychius. The fresco "The Lamentation" reveals the drama of man in general, rather than the drama of the saint. The saints on the frescoes in the church of the Holy Virgin Perivleptos (St. Clement) are depicted as healthy, young people with athletic bodies, full of life. The fresco "The Lamentation of Christ" was painted by an anonymous Nerezi master 140 years before the great Italian painter Giotto painted his master-piece "The Lamentation" in the chapel of Scrovenni in Padova. The mother on the Nerezi fresco is depicted as convulsed by her anguish for her deceased son, the culmination of her distress and tragedy. The new element of expression in the Nerezi frescoes "The Lamentation of Christ" and "The Deposition from the Cross", supplemented by the dramatic fresco "The Lamentation of Christ" in the Church of St. Clement in Ohrid, obliges art historians to consider these frescoes as true heralds of the Renaissance which would spread throughout Europe about a hundred years later-and many art historians consider that the Macedonian school of fresco-painting directly influenced the Italian Renaissance. However, unlike developments in Italy, the Macedonian proto-renaissance was extinguished by the Ottoman conquest which inhibited the bloom of art and caused the art of fresco-painting to stagnate and decay.
The pursuit of the fine arts continued during Serbian rule over Macedonia. Many churches are preserved from that period, the most distinguished being the Church of St. Nikita on Mt. Skopska Crna Gora, the Church of St.George in Staro Nagorichane (where the fresco-paintings were created by Astrappa and Eutychius between 1307 and 1318), the Church of St. Archangel on Mt. Skopska Crna Gora, the Church of St. Archangel in Varosh, the Church of St. Andrew near the Treska River and the Church of St. Nicholas in the village of Lyuboten, near Skopje region. During the Serbian period, the monumental exo-nartex, a rare architectural accomplishment both in Macedonia and the world in general, was added to the Church of St. Sophia in 1317.
Portrait painting was also an important art in the medieval period. Among the most famous portraits made on Macedonian soil are the portraits of King Milutin and Simonida in Staro Nagorichane, the portraits of Dushan and Helena at Lesnovo, the group portrait of the Paskacha family at Psacha, and the portraits of Volkashin and his son Marko in the church of St. Archangel in Varosh and in Marko's monastery. In view of the popularity of portraits in Byzantium, it would be logical that portraits had long been included in Macedonian churches but no portraits have been preserved from the period prior to the 13th century.
Icon painting. After several visits by the Apostle Peter to Thessaloniki, Christianity began to quickly spread throughout Macedonia. Confirmation of this are a number of early Christian basilicas in Macedonia, including a hundred or so square meters of excellently-preserved floor mosaics abounding in iconography and showing a high level of technical expertise, remnants of stone sculptures and 50 recently-unearthed icons in ruins near the small town of Vinica. These icons are all made of terracotta, and hence called terracotta icons.
In 1985, during the excavations of the walls of a late-Roman/early-Byzantine fortress at Vinica, archaeologists discovered the foundations of several secular buildings and, their debris, discovered a true archaeological treasure: a number of unique icons of the early Christianity period worked in ceramics and thought to date from the late 4th century. These icons are unlike any others previously known, duplicated by using a mold and standardized painting. The figures are roughly 30 or 31 centimeters high, roughly 28 centimeters wide, and 4 centimeters thick. Inscriptions and signatures are written in Latin, with beautifully modeled letters, and the saints are presented without auras. The most frequent illustrations are those of Archangel Michael with his wings folded and that of St. Theodore on a horse, dressed in a uniform of a Byzantine soldier. The cross of Emperor Constantine is presented on a number of icons, as well as symbolic animals and floral motifs. Distinguished for their high artistic qualities are the icons "St. Christopher and St. George", "Daniel in the Lions' Den" and "The Fruits of the Promised Land". Excavations have recently been renewed following a three-year pause, and may yet uncover more examples of these intriguing icons.
The high development of fresco-painting had its own reflection on the works created in the field of icon painting. The oldest icons discovered in Macedonia-more specifically, in Ohrid-date from the 11th and early 12th centuries. These include the icons "St. Vasilij and St. Nicholas", "The Forty Martyrs", "The Communion of the Apostles" and the Holy Virgin of "Annunciation with Archangel". Whatever the extent of influence by the Constantinople school on these icons, it is useless to deny their original and high artistic accomplishments.
In the sphere of icon creation the 13th century abounds in such a great wealth and variety of style that each icon virtually represents a unique style. Art historians stress, for example, that "Holy Virgin Odigitria" and "St. Barbara", both dating from the first half of the 13th century, are characterized by their refined sculpture, while "Jesus Christ Almighty on the Throne" unites the elements of the archaic and the contemporary, opening a new direction for artistic expression. Deacon John the painter, in his "St. George" expresses an entirely original conception of the painted sculpture. Experts point to the procession icon "Holy Virgin Odigitria with the Crucifixion", dating from the second half of the 13th century as belonging to the emerging 13th century school of sculpture.
The same applies to the icons by Michail Astrappa and Eutychius, "Deisis", "The Resurrection of Christ" and "The Evangelist Matthew", created at the end of the 13th century. In the early 14th century, the two masters of the paintbrush introduced elements of the Palaeologi Renaissance to icon-painting. Their new conception was accepted by many other icon-painters who worked in Macedonia at that time, resulting in a series of icons ("The Faithless Thomas", "The Baptizing of Christ", "Holy Virgin Episcepsis", "The Resurrection", and "Holy Virgin Odigitria" in the Church of St. Nikita near Skopje), of undeniable contribution to the general wealth of Macedonian icon-painting. These icons were mainly created by unknown icon-painters. However, in the 14th century the brothers Metropolitan John Zograf and Hieromonk Macarius were also active and their icons "Deisis", "Holy Virgin Pelagonitisa" and "Jesus Christ the Saviour and Lifegiver" represent the highest level of icon-painting in Macedonia.
But the 14th century was also marked by the Ottoman conquest of Macedonia, triggering a sharp decline in the quality of fresco-painting and icon-painting. A hundred years later these two arts began to develop again, but under entirely new conditions. Still, fresco-painters worked as icon-painters as well, as in the former periods. By the middle of the 15th century, Zograph Dimitriya of Leunovo (near Mavrovo) and his associate Jovan created icons in the iconostasis of Toplica Monastery near Bitola. In the early 16th century, Hieromonk Gerasim (creator of the "St. John the Theologian and Prochorus") and Hieromonk Kalinik (creator of "Deisis" in the monastery of the village of Slepche, near Demir Hisar) continued the new tradition of renewed icon-painting, based on the rich traditions of the Ohrid painting school.
Wood carving. It is normal to suppose that decorative sculpture was complementary to fresco-painting and an integral part of the architectural arrangements and the architectural conception. The oldest specimens of decorative sculpture in Macedonia are the wood carvings on the altar screen in the church of St. Sophia in Ohrid. After the Ottoman conquest, the influence of Middle Eastern elements in the Macedonian wood carving became much stronger. The shallow and flat arabesque style of carving dominating until the 17th century began to be replaced by more intricate styles of carving. In the monasteries of Slepche, Treskavec, Zrze, Varosh (near Prilep) and in the Monastery of the Most Holy Virgin of Kichevo, a number of works by Macedonian wood-carvers have been preserved. They reveal the characteristics of the Slepche-Prilep wood-carver's school: shallow and flat carving and rich geometrically interwoven floral and animal motifs.
Wood carving in Macedonia in the 13th century continued its development with new vigor and was enriched by new elements. The members of the Miyak wood-carver's school introduced the human figure in their artistic works and integrated it within the ornamental whole in an amazing way. The art of wood carving was not confined to churches and monasteries only: wood-carvers' tayfi (groups) began to decorate mosques, as well as sarays (mansions) and houses of wealthy merchants. In 1814, Petre Filipovski's "tayfas" from the village of Gari made the Great Iconostasis, kept in the National Library in Belgrade until World War II when it was destroyed by bombing. Petre Filipovski "Garka", his brother Marko, and Makarie Frchkovski from Galichnik worked on the iconostasis in the Church of the Holy Savior in Skopje from 1824 to 1829-an iconostasis ten meters long and six meters high . Some of the characters in the Biblical scenes are depicted dressed in Galichnik folk costumes. Art historians are unanimous that the value of this masterpiece lies in the softness of its lines, its arrangement of the forms, its stylization and its baroque playfulness. In the period over 1830 to 1840, the famous master wood-carvers Petre Filipovski and Makarie Frchkovski carved the iconostasis in the Monastery of St. John Bigorski. They left behind self-portraits among the scenes of this iconostasis and again on the iconostasis in the Church of the Holy Savior. The iconostasis in St. John Bigorski is a grandiose example of Macedonian wood carving, divided into six horizontal squares abounding in floral and animal ornaments.
Music. Macedonian musical styles developed under the strong influence of Byzantine church music. It can be stated with some certainty that all of the 3,500 disciples of Clement and Naum studied music as they prepared to spread and establish Christianity, as musical education was obligatory for service in the clergy. In addition to spreading the liturgy of the Orthodox church, they spread Byzantine liturgical music throughout Macedonia. As part of Clement's heritage, 14 Greek manuscripts have been preserved, written in the period between the 11th and the 14th centuries and accompanied by pneumatic notation. "The Bologne Psalter", written in Cyrillic in the village of Raven near Ohrid in about 1235, is accompanied with ecphonetic notation signs. Among the most prominent names in Byzantine church music was John Koukouzeles (14th century), a reformer of the Orthodox chant born in the village of Dzermenci near Debar. He was taken to Constantinople as a young boy, to become one of the most distinguished personalities of that time. A founder of new notation characters and new notational signs, he retained only twenty-five of the old ones. Several distinguished successors of Koukouzeles were born in Macedonia as well, such as Joseph, Peter and Grigorij Koukouzeles. Under Ottoman rule professional musical activity ceased to be practiced, and only folk songs remained. Macedonians created their own musical wealth, expressing their sufferings and joys, distresses and beliefs. The folk song remained the only musical activity in Macedonia until the 19th century.
In 1894, the first cultural and artistic association was founded in Veles, with the music being its dominant activity. The first modern Macedonian musician was Atanas Badev, born in Prilep in 1860, a student at the Moscow Academy of Music, but his only preserved work is the "Liturgy For a Mixed Choir".
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