Studenica, Church of the Mother of God, transenna

Begin 01.01.1190
End 31.12.1196
ID 132900
System Class
Artifact Window
Case Study Beyond East and West: Sacred Landscapes Duklja and Raška
Stylistic Classification Romanesque

The lead transenna on the central window of the North wall of the under-dome area of the Church of the Mother of God in the Studenica Monastery is the only preserved example of such decorated window opening in Serbian medieval art. This transenna is contemporary with the construction of the Studenica Catholicon, and dates from around 1190.
The lead window sash was filled with colored glass in the larger gaps, and the decoration consists of ten medallions (once probably 12). In the center of each field there is a figural representation whose outlines are made with a series of densely drilled holes. Various motifs such as floral motifs and representations of realistic and fantastic animals, facing the center of the plate decorated the transenna. Eight preserved fields have depictions of animals, and only two have rosettes. The window frame was restored, so it is possible that certain fields were given a place that did not originally belong to them.


Places (1)
Name Class Begin End Description
Studenica Monastery, Church of the Mother of God Place between 01.01.1183 and 31.12.1196 31.12.1230 The Church of the Mother of God in the Studenica Monastery is situated 39km South-West of the city of Kraljevo. It was built between 1183 and 1196, by Stefan Nemanja (Spisi sv. Save 153; Kralj Stefan 9; Domentijan 24) (ZSp. 569 V - I u Rasinyi methohь Popovacь, crьkva hramь Vavědenïe prěsvetïe Bogorodica i zaselakï, i selo Vožetinь, selo Rakla i zaseljakь, i selo Pohovacь, i selo Vělika Vruševïca i Podrumi, i povele da prinose vyno trevy rady monastiru). The relics of Stefan Nemanja were brought to Studenica (from Chilandar) making this place the political, cultural and spiritual center of the country. Around his tomb are buried - his wife Ana (nun Anastasija), his son Stefan the First-Crowned, Grand Prince Vukan, Nemanja's grandson Stefan (son of King Uroš I) and King Radoslav with his wife. Therefore Studenica became known as Lavra of St. Simeon the Myrrh-streaming (Myroblytos). For this reason the Church became the model to emulate in the construction and fresco painting of Serbian Churches. Its a single nave edifice with a dome and a three-part altar space, side vestibules and a narthex. The vestibules had a cult purpose, as evidenced by niches in their Eastern walls. The façade of the Church of the Mother of God is made in accordance with the traditions of Romanesque art (the masons came from the coastal region, perhaps Kotor). Some typically Byzantine details, such as the semicircular arch on the sides of the tambour of the dome and the disposition of the windows on it, are harmoniously integrated into the Western concept of the exterior of the walls. The most impressive Romanesque features of the monastery catholicon are the friezes of arcades on the upper edges of the walls and the shapes of window openings and portals, i.e. their sculptural decoration. Western and Southern entrance door, along with a trifora at the altar are most prominent example of rich sculptural decoration of this period in history. Also, the lunette above the Western door is richly decorated with sculptural decoration of the Virgin with Christ and two archangels. An inscription on the tympanum of the West portal is written in Serbian lettering which indicates that artist(s) were probably Serbian. According to the fragmentarily preserved inscription in the tambour of the dome, it is known that the painting of the Church began in 1208/1209. Fresco decoration was thoroughly renovated in 1569 by Longin. Around 1230 Radoslav, son of Stefan the First-Crowned, built an exonarthex with two semicircular chapels on the South and North sides and perhaps a square tower with a chapel on the upper floor of the main entrance of the Monastery.