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Review article

Pluteus from the Chancel Screen in the Sanctuary of St Tryphon in Kotor

Pavuša Vežić ; Department of Art History, University of Zadar, Croatia

Fulltext: english, pdf (4 MB) pages 7-22 downloads: 193* cite
APA 6th Edition
Vežić, P. (2016). Pluteus from the Chancel Screen in the Sanctuary of St Tryphon in Kotor. Ars Adriatica, (6), 7-22. Retrieved from https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695
MLA 8th Edition
Vežić, Pavuša. "Pluteus from the Chancel Screen in the Sanctuary of St Tryphon in Kotor." Ars Adriatica, vol. , no. 6, 2016, pp. 7-22. https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Vežić, Pavuša. "Pluteus from the Chancel Screen in the Sanctuary of St Tryphon in Kotor." Ars Adriatica , no. 6 (2016): 7-22. https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695
Harvard
Vežić, P. (2016). 'Pluteus from the Chancel Screen in the Sanctuary of St Tryphon in Kotor', Ars Adriatica, (6), pp. 7-22. Available at: https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695 (Accessed 29 March 2020)
Vancouver
Vežić P. Pluteus from the Chancel Screen in the Sanctuary of St Tryphon in Kotor. Ars Adriatica [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2020 March 29];(6):7-22. Available from: https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695
IEEE
P. Vežić, "Pluteus from the Chancel Screen in the Sanctuary of St Tryphon in Kotor", Ars Adriatica, vol., no. 6, pp. 7-22, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695. [Accessed: 29 March 2020]
Fulltext: croatian, pdf (4 MB) pages 7-22 downloads: 227* cite
APA 6th Edition
Vežić, P. (2016). Plutej ograde svetišta iz memorije Sv. Tripuna u Kotoru. Ars Adriatica, (6), 7-22. Retrieved from https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695
MLA 8th Edition
Vežić, Pavuša. "Plutej ograde svetišta iz memorije Sv. Tripuna u Kotoru." Ars Adriatica, vol. , no. 6, 2016, pp. 7-22. https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Vežić, Pavuša. "Plutej ograde svetišta iz memorije Sv. Tripuna u Kotoru." Ars Adriatica , no. 6 (2016): 7-22. https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695
Harvard
Vežić, P. (2016). 'Plutej ograde svetišta iz memorije Sv. Tripuna u Kotoru', Ars Adriatica, (6), pp. 7-22. Available at: https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695 (Accessed 29 March 2020)
Vancouver
Vežić P. Plutej ograde svetišta iz memorije Sv. Tripuna u Kotoru. Ars Adriatica [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2020 March 29];(6):7-22. Available from: https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695
IEEE
P. Vežić, "Plutej ograde svetišta iz memorije Sv. Tripuna u Kotoru", Ars Adriatica, vol., no. 6, pp. 7-22, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695. [Accessed: 29 March 2020]

Abstracts
The pluteus from the chancel screen, presumably from
the sanctuary of St Tryphon in Kotor, is a sort of compilation
of specific visual and symbolic motifs and their
combinations as identified in various chancel screens in
churches of the Adriatic cultural circle. An especially interesting
element is the panel on the left side of the pluteus,
with a geometrical base consisting of twelve circles,
three in the height and four in the length of the composition.
The stonemason’s skill transformed them into an
interesting iconographic solution, consisting of rings of
interconnected triangles lined along the edge of the panel
and rhombuses distributed in its field. The triangles and
the rhombuses have concavely curving, interlacing sides
that create circular interspaces next to them, each of them
featuring two flame-like leaves facing each other. This motif
is rare in pre-Romanesque ornamentation in the Adriatic.
However, it is typical of the Romanic milieus in Istria
and Dalmatia, such as Novigrad, Rab, Zadar, and Kotor.
Plutei with such forms can be dated to the last decades or
even years of the 8th century or the early 9th century.
Another characteristic ornament in these plutei is the
trefoil lily in the centre of each rhombus, as well as many
triangles. The rhombus resembles a cross in itself, often
accentuated through a smaller cross in the midst of its
field. Examples of such combinations are found in the
early Byzantine decorative sculpture of Ravenna, inspired
by Lombard and Carolingian art, and may have thence
reached the Romanic milieus of Istria and Dalmatia.
I would argue that it was from this direction that such
motifs entered the hinterland of the ancient Croatian
state, as well as other Sclavinias. There they were used
alongside similar as well as entirely different ornaments.
The plutei there likewise feature the motif of a lily in a
rhombus, yet without the flame-like leaves in the interspaces,
which are substituted through various types of
knots, pretzels, rosettes, and particularly often concentric
circles, the so-called “Korbboden ornaments” accompanied
by clusters of grapes, occasionally with birds picking
at the berries. These motifs, especially the last one,
indicate that honeycomb meshes, designed almost in the
form of iconoclastic geometrical abstractions, nevertheless
represented quite figuratively the True Vine marking
the boundary of the enclosed Garden or Vineyard. This
is clearly seen in the plutei from the Tragurian workshop
active during the reign of Duke Trpimir, the one of the
Master of the Pluteum of Koljane, or the Benedictine
workshop active during the reign of Duke Branimir.
In its own way, the rhombus with concavely curving
sides – a motif that has attracted surprisingly little attention
in the analyses of early Christian and early medieval
art in the Croatian lands – symbolizes the Cross, which
allows us to call it, at least tentatively, “the rhomboid
cross”. Moreover, one may say that, in the reliefs from
liturgical contexts in the Adriatic cultural circles, such
crosses (combined either with one or with several rhombuses)
were used more than any other symbol, especially
in the early medieval plutei dated to the 8th to 11th centuries.
It is therefore, figuratively speaking, the “common
feature” of most artworks presented here.
The panel to the right is outlined by two arcades, with
a cross underneath each of them. Here one again encounters
the typical motifs of early Christian and early Byzantine
art, combined with the Lombard and Carolingian
variants of the themes. These models reached the Romanic
communities of Istria and Dalmatia, and through them
the hinterland of the Sclavinias. Nevertheless, analogies in
the composition with two panels in a pluteus, at least one
featuring two arcades, seem particularly striking between
Zadar and Kotor. The fragments of marble plutei that were
subsequently incorporated into the main altar of St Anastasia’s
church are evidence of the fact that there were at
least three cases in Zadar that may be considered analogous
to the one in Kotor in their ornamentation. Besides
the pillars, capitals, arcades, and crosses, the similarities
include the motif of the Garden of Eden under the cross
as the Tree of Life, which resembles the acanthus flower.
This motif is also present in some ciboria produced by the
workshop of Boka Kotorska.
However, if one also considers the previously described
mesh with rings of interlaced triangles and rhombuses,
especially in Zadar and Kotor, as well as the motif
of the True Vine in the pilasters of the chancel screen in
Zadar, Kotor, and elsewhere, the striking parallels lead
to a conclusion about the relatively similar motifs in
analogous liturgical installations. These, again, indicate
an exchange of stonemasonry patterns in the period of
early pre-Romanesque art, especially between these two
important early medieval Dalmatian cities. This highly
intriguing topic certainly deserves further study, albeit
with due caution.

Keywords
chancel screen; pluteus; triangle; rhombus; cross; acanthus flower

Hrčak ID: 170695

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/170695

[croatian]

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