Knjižnica Filozofskog fakulteta
Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Institutional Repository

Konzervatorsko-restauratorski radovi na ikonostasima Jovana Četirevića Grabovana na području Koprivničko-križevačke i Bjelovarsko-bilogorske županije


Downloads per month over past year

Hrlić, Marina. (2018). Konzervatorsko-restauratorski radovi na ikonostasima Jovana Četirevića Grabovana na području Koprivničko-križevačke i Bjelovarsko-bilogorske županije. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Art History. [mentor Jurić, Zlatko and Bralić, Višnja].

PDF (Croatian)
Download (8MB) | Preview


A lot has been said and written about Jovan Četirević Grabovan, but in the abundance of sources we encounter many doubts, gaps and disagreements: from the fact that the same name was used by two different painters, to being identified with other iconographies. His life was sometimes also difficult to understand and his works points to unusual oscillations: from traditional to advanced. There are three main sources for his life and work: what he wrote himself, the archive material, and finally, his works. Sometimes they match but sometimes differ. Judging by the last fifteen years of his life he was a very productive painter. The list of his works is still open. It is a mitigating circumstance that his icons and iconostases were often signed and dated. Regarding his iconostases on the territory of Koprivničko-križevačka and Bjelovarsko-bilogorska County, one was completely destroyed in the war, in two cases only a few icons remained and the fate of one is still unknown. Another was a victim of an inadequate cleaning attempt (with good cause) and two were completely neglected while one is still not identified with certainty as his work. He completed a great number of complicated art works so it is clear that he had a well trained team of associates. He did not hide it and, in fact, he often made that clear in his inscriptions. Of those that are known by name we remember Georgije Grabovan and Grigorije Popović. His work has unequable value and is difficult to track the development of his skills. It was assumed that he was born arround 1916. in the village of Grabovo near Ohrid in todays Albany. Since he began to record his life only after leaving Hungary, we don't know a lot about his life in his hometown. He lived in Hungary from 1736 to 1746 and than went to Russia to study the craft where he spent 4 years. After returning from Russia, he returned to his birthplace and married. Those five years that he spent there still remain in darkness. After that, he went to Osijek where he settled between 1769 and 1772 and founded a workshop. When he came to the Metropolis of Karlovac he was already a formed painter, over 50 years of age and having a large family to care about so he couldn't spend too much time choosing clients or denying theirs requests, and rural areas were quite conservative. That is why he remained trapped between tradition and baroque. The testimony of his affirmation in the new environment are inscriptions in which he identified himself as »a citizen of Osijek«. He is the author of three (four?) iconostases in Koprivničko-križevačka and three are in Bjelovarsko-bilogorska County. Today they are very interesting and complex conservation subjects since we can get an idea of the whole array of different cases that can endanger artistic heritage on the basis of one author. After 1802 we lose every trace of him so it is assumed that he died after that year. In Osijek's archives the year of his death is not noted so we suppose that he died outside of Osijek, perhaps even during work on a new iconostasis. The first was an iconostasis in the monastery of Lepavina (1775) which was destroyed in 1943 during World War II. There are only 2 icons that remained. The iconostasis he made for Podgorci in the church of St. Petka (1777) is found in an unrecognizable condition. On the (obviously) new construction only two icons are recognized as Grabovan's work while some of them including the Royal Gates and the Crucifixion remain under a suspicion. What exactly happened to the rest of the iconostasis is the task of the future researches because no evidence has been found so far. Currently it is exposed to inadequate conditions in the abandoned church. It is very likely that it will be dislocated and meticulously cleaned. It has never been a subjected of conservation operation. However, the iconostasis in the church of St. Georgius in Veliki Poganac (1779) is quite anothrt case. Although it is in one peace, that doesn't make it a less difficult case. It has been exposed to candle smoke for more than two centuries. The thick layer of soot has hidden many icons, the supporting structure was repainted, and somewhere in the middle of the last century it was treated with inadequate cleaning chemicals by a paroch who tried to clean soot and dust. Therefore, he irreversibly damaged the third-tier color layer which, in some cases, will be difficult to reproduce in the same form as Grabovan did. Preventive and direct conservation and restoration works were carried out since 1989 and it is still in progress. The upper zone has been restored. Best case scenario, the end of conservational activities is predicted to be between 2022 and 2025. The story about the iconostasis from the church St. John the Baptist in Sredice (1780) is also very interesting. Around 1903 it was moved to the near by church of St. Peter and Paul in Gudovac. However only the icons and not the whole bearing structure were moved. The new bearing structure was made by Anton Sić from Zagreb. Perhaps he was the one who repainted the old icons and added three new ones on the top. In 2012 the church collapsed but the apse remained untouched. Ten icons were stolen and the rest was urgently evacuated and moved to the choir of the church of St. Trinity in Bjelovar where they are still today. Grabovan's presence was also recorded in Pavlovac in the church of St. Panteleimon (1783). The iconostasis was moved from the old church to the now one in 1906. It is assumed that the first and second tiers of the iconstasis (not Grabovan's work) have been added at that point. The iconostasis is found in quite good condition. Over time, the structure was repainted and the picture of St. John the Baptist was added in the third row. In 2008 direct and preventive conservation and restoration work was carried out. The next important work from this area is the iconostasis in the church of St. Georgije in Vojakovac (ex Betinjani) (1782). The micro-climatic conditions are not adequate and it is attacked by wormwood. It is also noticed that the structure was repainted at one point in the history. In 2008 it was a subject of preventive and direct conservation action. A lot of carved decorations are missing and the static is unstable. Luckily it doesn't represent a very difficult conservation case because there is enough comparative material that can serve to replicate the missing parts. The this year's disinsection should keep it safe from wormwood for a while. A special case is the iconostasis in Osijek Vojakovački in the church of St. Father Nikolaj (1786). The author of this iconostasis has not yet been identified with certainty. For now it is attributed to a circle of artists who collaborated with Grabovan or perhaps his assistants. The iconostasis is in very bad shape. Many icons are the result of later interventions of some provincial painters who left their mark in two phases. The name of one of them is known to us because we are reading it at the Royal Gates: Čedomir Smoljanović, 1974 and 1975. The original icons are in very poor condition: they are missing a polychrome layer or are half-cut. Without detailed scientific research it is hard to accept or reject the possibility of another piece made by Jovan Četirević Grabovan.In 2008 an urgent and direct preventive consolidation was carried out because the statics of the construction was seriously weakened. The beam on the back was inserted, which should provide static sturdiness for a while but it is still very crooked. The decorations has mostly fallen off. Though it is dimensionally the smallest iconostasis, it is a very demanding and complicated conservation venture. The biggest problem will be nonconforming icons that can not be replaced with the facsimiles of the originals because detailed shots do not exist. It is possible to replace them with new ones based on analogy with other iconostases and create icons that will match Grabovan's work more than Smoljanović's intervention. Missing decorations can be reconstructed thanks to the existing samples. To conclude, Croatian Restoration Institute guied numerous conservation interventions in 2008 and 2009 in order to stabilize their state and secure treir conditions from major rosks of further deterioration. But the restoration and conservation services still have a lot of work to do. Croatian Restoration Institute and Conservation Department of Bjelovar are cooperating with intention to provide the best possible solution for all this monuments. The greatest problem of all is not the state of objects but how to spur the public interest and provide them protection from further deterioration. It is importaint to keep them in situ as long as it is possible (Veliki poganac, Pavlovac, Vojakovac), but not in cases where inadequate conditions are indangering their state even more (Podgorci). The musealisation would be the best solution for some of them and the easiest way to present them to the public, as well as observe their condition (Gudovac). There is a constant decline in the number of religious communities it's members for which they were made in the first place so the iconostases slowly begin to lose their function. One of the possible solutions is to found a museum spacially dedicated to these kind of monuments. However, the conditions of some of them are making their exsposure difficult to elaborate (Podgorci, Osijek Vojakovački). The other possibility is to organize tours that could include the visit of these sites. By paying greater attention to the outside world, the awareness and interest of the surrounding environment would awaken. Raising public awareness is a great and demanding job, but it is the best conservation method we can provide them.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jovan Četirević Grabovan, Iconostasis, Inadequate micro-climatic conditions, Loss of function, Repainting,Wormwood, Missing polychrome, Preventive and direct conservation, Consolidation, Musealisation, Dislocation, Public interest
Subjects: History of art
Departments: Department of Art History
Supervisor: Jurić, Zlatko and Bralić, Višnja
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2018 11:03
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2018 11:03

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item