Serbia Land of the Frescos, a travelling exhibition
The Gallery of Frescoes of the National Museum in Belgrade will be exhibiting facsimiles of medieval and Byzantine Serbian frescos and sculptures at the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli in Rome from 6 July to 29 July 2011.
The exhibition, which was first held in the Santa Croce Church in Florence, is a visualization of the development of Serbian frescos, arts and culture from the 6th to the 15th century. The reproduction that are exhibited are exact copies of national Serbian treasures that in most cases are preserved in medieval monasteries and are part of the World Heritage of UNESCO. These monasteries, which form one of the densest networks of monasteries in the world, are very often built on the foundations of churches dating before the 12th century.
One might ask oneself how it became that reproductions of these frescos were made. In 1950 an exhibition was organised on medieval Serbian art in the Chaillot Palace in Paris. For the purpose of this exhibition, copies of frescoes and casts of monumental sculptures were made. After the exhibitions the casts were conserved which eventually led to the establishment of the Gallery of Frescoes in 1952, the second museum of its kind in the world. In 1973 the gallery became part of the National Museum in Belgrade in 1973.
Ever since, the Gallery of Frescos has dedicated its self to producing facsimiles and presenting these to the public. Presently the Gallery of Frescos has around 1200 facsimiles of frescos, icons and miniatures dating between the 11th and mid 15th century. The collection furthermore houses another 300 casts of medieval monumental sculptures and epigraphic monuments.