Romania’s Most Significant Mosaic Icon of the Mother of God Emerged in the National Cathedral in Bucharest

Aurelian Iftimiu | 20 June 2020

Romania’s most significant mosaic icon of the Mother of God emerged in the National Cathedral in Bucharest as workers have started removing tons of metal scaffolding covering the altar’s impressive iconography.

© Daniel Codrescu

At present, about 50% of the altar painting work has been completed. The basin of the altar apse is completely covered with mosaic, including decorations on the window frames and nave’s belt.

Archangel Michael © Daniel Codrescu

Practically, once this stage is completed, there will be no scaffolding from 27 m upwards.

© Daniel Codrescu

The most towering icon of the Theotokos’ More Spacious than the Heavens’ (Platytera) has several sources of inspiration from the art of Byzantine tradition. It is a synthesis “according to the Romanian soul” with elements from several well-known icons, Daniel Codrescu, the coordinator of the team of iconographers, explained.

The Panagia Platytera ton ouranon measures 16 meters high and was created by a team of artists coordinated by iconographer Daniel Codrescu. It is the first icon that decorates the walls of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral after the mosaic-covered iconostasis was consecrated by His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on November 25, 2018. © Daniel Codrescu

The representation of the “Panagia Platytera” has a similar style as the iconostasis because these representations will be “read” together when the believers turn their gaze to the Cathedral’s altar.

Virgin Mary’s throne – detail. © Daniel Codrescu

Handmade tesserae from the Orsoni workshop in Venice are used inside the new Orthodox temple in Bucharest that will serve as Patriarchal Cathedral.

The efforts of the team led by iconographer Daniel Codrescu are still concentrated on the altar area, where large scenes such as “The Ark of Covenant” or “The Communion of the Apostles” need further work.

The works on the construction site of the National Cathedral continue during this period in the adjacent basements, the decorative plaster, the stone cladding and the mosaic iconography.

Photography courtesy of iconographer Daniel Codrescu

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