Ston, Church of St. Michael, frescoes

Begin 01.01.1051
End 31.12.1081
ID 132784
System Class
Artifact Fresco
Case Study Beyond East and West: Sacred Landscapes Duklja and Raška
Stylistic Classification Byzantine , Latin-Byzantine Combination

Wall paintings have been partially preserved on the side walls and in the apse, while smaller fragments were discovered on the vault of the eastern aisle. In the niche of the western bay, there is a figure of a ruler with a crown and a model of the (Ston) church in his hand. It is the most famous fresco which allowed the dating of the Church (along with the inscription on the lintel). On the opposite, southern side, is an image of St. George, with a sword and a shield in his hand, next to which the inscription (GE)O(R)GIVS. Above the ruler, only the lower parts of two figures have been preserved, one in a ceremonial robe and the other unclothed and shackled in a humble position. Both are directed towards the west, so it is assumed that it is an image of a sinner and on the west wall was a scene of the Last Judgment.
Some researchers date frescoes somewhere between 1051 and 1081, while others suggested earlier date (first half of the 11th century). In recent times, frescoes have been associated with close examples of Ottonian book illumination and wall painting or Regensburg illuminations from the end of the 10th century (BamStbib, Msc. Lit. 142, f 4v). Nevertheless, closest analogies are to be found in Byzantine painting of the first half and/or middle of the 11th century in the southern Italian region of Apulia (such as in the church of Sta. Marina in Muro Leccese or in the crypt near Grottaglia (Gravina di Riggio)).


Places (1)
Name Class Begin End Description
Ston, Church of St. Michael Place between 01.01.1040 and 31.12.1040 between 01.01.1050 and 31.12.1050 The Church of Saint Michael the Archangel in Ston was probably erected by Prince Stefan Vojislav, the archont of the Serbs and a Terbounian Serb (reigned ca. 1037-1050), in the first half of the 11th century. The church is situated on top of the hill named Gradac and it might have served as a palace church. Its a rectangular, single-nave building, which is divided with composite pilasters into three bays (the middle one has a blind dome, while Eastern and Western have groin vaults) and a bell-tower situated on its Western side. The altar apse is semicircular inside and rectangular on the outside. The exterior is decorated with lesenes and niches, while door frames and stone window have low-relief decoration. Fresco decoration has been severely damaged but we can still recognize its iconographical programme. Certainly the most significant is the fresco decoration of the ktetor who is holding a model of the church and along with Latin inscriptions we can conclude that the paintings are of Western pre-Romanesque and Byzantine influence finished probably around 1050 (for sure until 1081).
Ston, fresco, ktetor portrait
Ston, fresco, ktetor portrait