HALL 11 Collection The Gold of Dobrudzha

In the thematic collection “The Gold  of Dobroudzha” are presented works  of art created for a period covering more than a century, from  the late  1890s  up to the 1990s of the last century.

The landscape, the historic memory and lifestyle of the people of this region are underlying  the thematic and rich in content aspect of the picturesque canvases.

The creators have discovered their sources  of inspiration through their contacts with nature and the people here. The people of  Dobroudzha  with their traditions rich in mythology and folklore  take up a particular place having  a destiny of their own in the history of Bulgaria. This is a land, a place where the destinies of different ethnic groups  and dramatic events have been interwoven in the new history of Bulgaria. They have found in  art a peculiar  national and patriotic coloring, being under the strong influence of the democratic traditions of the people from the region of Dobroudzha.

The topic “The Gold of Dobroudzha” includes a number of aspects,  involving the  ideological and notional interpretation, the subject-matter and thematic selection as well as the means of expression.  The creators in their picturesque canvases, on the whole, throughout the period  have shown a striving  towards a deeper probing in the conception of the world, the character and the psychological image of  the people and nature of the region of Dobroudzha. The romantic notions  in the landscape genre have been  closely connected  with the appearance and the development of  the “Native Art” trend since the 1920s. Then the subject-matter of art became  the physical stability  and the moral virtues of the ordinary laborers and it turned into a powerful incentive for the creation of an art bearing a bright national image. Yet in this period, in our landscape  painting  and figured-thematic composition the artists have tried to find the national  specific character of painting in its folklore and romantic aspect. The issues  connected  with people’s lives and  social problems came into being and evolved  after the 1930s  through the works of the artists of the New Artists’ Association .

Both trends started their development in the decades between the two World Wars and after the 1970s and 1980s their ideological aspects have shown a revival in the art of the contemporary Bulgarian landscape painting and composition.

In the 1950s this picturesque genre went through a number of serious trials but after the 1960s it got a new and dynamic development in the plastic and figurative  language. Subject-matter  from the Bulgarian history, the  former village  lifestyle, themes taken from the folklore, fairy tales and legends - Christian and local ones determine thematically the topics of the picturesque works. The quest for an inner meaning, the desire to probe deeply in the Bulgarian spirituality according to the geographic location and the historic past of separate ethnic  components  underlie the  conception of  this thematic circle of works - e.g. “Baker” by Ivan Markvitchka (the 1890s). The solutions of the contents can be traced out as basic trends:

-          in  a monumental heroic plan- the triptych  “Bread” , 1987 by  Svilen Blazhev, “Dance-Harvest”, by Lyubomir Samardzhiev;

-          poetizing the past through  retrospective contemplation - 

“Ritual”, 1986 by Gredi Akka, “At the Fountain”, 1982 by Syuleyman Seferov, “Holiday”, 1987 by Mihail Kamberov,

“Midday Rest”, 1982 by Nikola Nikolov, “Harvesters”, 19th century by Gospodin Zhelyazkov, “Spring in the Fields”, 1977

by Hristo Vekov, “Threshing”, 1977 by Iliya Milkov;

-          tender lyrical experience of the beauty of Bulgarian nature-

“Spring”, 1982 by Dobri Dobrev, “Maiden from Old Village”, 1982 Yordan Marinov; “Late Summer”, 1982 by Georgi Trifonov, “Golden Summer”,1982 by Nayden Petkov,“Harvest “ the 1980s by Olga Belopitova, and landscapes close to the naivety art - “Harvest” 77 by Rusi Nedelchev, “Gathering of Haystacks”, 1962 by Dariya Vasilyanska, “Sowing” 1963 by Violeta Maslarova;

-          dramatic tension- “Dobroudzhan Soil ”, by Academician Svetlin Rusev,   “Half-Expressed Thoughts” ,   1982 by Teofan Sokerov“The Earth and the People”- I, II, 1982 by Petko Dochev, “ Spring Plowing”, 1977 by Sabi Georgiev;

-   and discovering of the fateful and mystical meaning of different  aspects of people’s life – “Past”, 1977 by Ivan Stoilov-Bunkera, “Golden Dobroudzha” and “Fertility” by Keazim Isinov, 

“ Summer” and “ Sitting Down on the Ground”, 1982 by        Dimitar Kazakov , “A Song”, 1981 by Todor Vakov, and in the only still life “Naturevive”, 1987 by Vladimir  Stamenov.

We can make a conclusion as a whole  that in the works of  contemporary  landscape painting of Bulgarian art, there is a general  tendency in composition  to be traced out involved with the theme “ The Gold of Dobroudzha” - the figured images in the space of painting existing in the mind in their connection between themselves and their surroundings , reflecting in this way  different aspects of the boundless  beauty of nature in its connection with man  standing out – in his  lifestyle, labor, holiday and  spirituality.

 In spite of the variety of painting styles and trends that  different generations of creators follow in their art, the theme of fertility, beauty, the rich historic and cultural traditions of this region have acquired  large dimensions in our  contemporary visual art.

Exciting, beautiful and unforgettable will remain in the paintings  the images of the rolling seas of the  golden  fields of wheat of Dobroudzha, the pyramids of  golden grain for the  bread, the images of the people with  their  golden tan,  creating the golden gifts of  earth with their labor, lighted up  by the golden sun where beneath its  rays the wealth of life  is being  born and multiplied.

Here is the poetic metaphor  underlying the idea “The Gold of Dobroudzha” that has been thrilling the  creators for more than a century.