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Frescoes in Istria and Istrian churches

The great number of preserved frescoes to be seen on the relatively small territory of the Istrian peninsula is amazing. We can speak of close to 140 localities, varying from large and rich fresco cycles to individual scenes and tiny fragments. These frescoes can be tracked back to the turn of 9th century, but it is during the 11th century that they started to be produced in great number that continued to the middle of the 16th century.

If you would like to discover the beauty of the frescoes, you should visit: Bačva (Churches of St. Mother of God of Carmel and St. Jacob), Bale (Church of Holy Spirit), Barban (Churches of St.Anthony And St. Jacob), Batvači (Peroj) - Church of St. Foška, Beram (Churches of St. Martin and St. Mary of Škriljinah), Bičići (Church of St. Martin), Božje polje (Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary), Čirkoti (Churches of St. Primo and St. Felician), Draguć (Churches of St. Elisey and sv. Rok), Dvigrad (Churches of St. Mary of Lakuć and St. Anthony), Fažana (Churches of St. Mary of Carmel and St.Kuzma and Damian), Gologorica (Church of St. Mary of the Pond), Gračišće (Church of St. Mary at the Square), Gradinje (Church of All Saints), Hum (Church of St. Jerome), Kanfanar (Church of St. Agata), Kloštar (Church of St. Michael), Labinci (Church of the Holy Trinity), Lindar (Churches of St. Catherine and St. Sebastian), Nova Vas (Church of Holy Spirit), Medulin (Church of St. Lady of Health), Oprtalj (Churches of St. Jelena, St. Mary, St. Rok, St. Silvestre), Paz (Church of St. Vitus), Pazin (Church of St. Nicholas), Pićan (Church of St. Mihovil), Plomin (Churches of St. Mary and St. George the senior), Pomer (Church of St. Flora), Rakotule (Church of St. Nicholas), Roč (Church of St. Roč), Rovinj (Church of St. Andrew), Slum (Church of St. Matthew), Svetvinčenat (Savičenta) – Churches of St. Vincent and Church of St. Catherine, Sv. Lovreč (Churches of St. Martin and St. Blasius), Višnjan (Church of St. Antona), Vižinada (Church of St. Barnab), Žminj (Churches of St. Anthony and St. Trinity).

Frescoes in Istria and Istrian churches in Porec

Frescoes in Church of Holy Spirit - Nova Vas (Porec, Istria)


Frescoes in Church of Holy Spirit - Nova Vas, Porec Church of Holy Spirit in Nova Vas was painted by a master Blaž from Dubrovnik in the 16th century. Through the entire length of the north wall stretches the fresco about worship of the Epiphany, which is accompanied by soldiers. Apostles were placed inside laurel wreaths.

Frescoes in Church of St.Trinity - Labinci (Porec, Istria)


Frescoes in Church of St.Trinity - Labinci, Porec Church of St. Trinity in Labinci is a simple chapel enriched by medieval frescoes. On the frescoes is shown St. George who is slaying the dragon. He is dressed in the armor of a Roman soldier with a mantle in the manner of Byzantine art, and not in the modern knight harness. The scene frames are green inside which is light ocher background. The soil is colored yellow and brown color is visible only at the tree of the St. George's scene.

Frescoes in Istria and Istrian churches in Vrsar

Frescoes in Church of St. Michael - Kloštar (Vrsar, Istria)


Frescoes in Church of St. Michael - Kloštar, Vrsar In St. Michael’s church in Kloštar can be found remains of Romanesque frescoes. The trial of St. Stephen and his stoning are the only scenes that can be read out in the apse and are one of the oldest displays of this topic in Istria. The best preserved display of the saint is on the right side of the triumphal arch. The young character with the Bishop's stick represents the Benedictine saint, it is assumed that is the St. Romualdo itself. The figures are sculpted with contours of light and dark colors and on the face are visible the cheekbones with a characteristic red circles. The ruler crown is of a Carolingian type. All these elements are the characteristics of Benedictine art from the Ottonian period.

Frescoes in Istria and Istrian churches in Rovinj

Frescoes in Church of Holy Spirit - Bale (Rovinj, Istria)


Frescoes in Church of Holy Spirit - Bale, Rovinj The frescoes can be found in the church of Holy Ghost in Bale were painted by Albert from Constanz. Church of Holy Ghost, from the 15th century, is located near the main square, next to the castle Soardo - Bembo. There are memorable scenes on the side walls that show the life of Christ, then the Holy Trinity on the wall above the altar and the frescoes of angels and hell at the entrance to the church.

Frescoes in Church of St.Mary of Lakuć - Dvigrad (Rovinj, Istria)


Frescoes in Church of St.Mary of Lakuć - Dvigrad, Rovinj In the Church of St. Mary of Lakuć in Dvigrad there are late Gothic frescoes which are impressive for the shades of the color of purple, red, green and orange. Only the sanctuary is covered with paintings. In the apse the Christ is shown surrounded by symbols of Evangelists and cosmic signs of the Moon and Sun. Under them is a row of Apostles. On the triumphal arch is the Annunciation, and below it St. Ursula with two female saints and St. Lawrence. In the apse stretches a painted curtain. The scene following the Annunciation is depicted in the upper part of the southern wall representing the encounter of Mary with Elizabeth. In the upper part of the northern wall there is a depiction of the Birth of Jesus Christ. Under the canopy above the main entrance is the scene of the crowned Virgin Mary the Protectress with mantle underneath which she kept the parishioners. In the church there are a lot of Glagolitic graffiti.

Frescoes in Church of St. Anthony - Dvigrad (Rovinj, Istria)


Frescoes in Church of St. Anthony - Dvigrad, Rovinj On the wall of St. Anthony's Church in Dvigrad is a painted polyptych depicting the saint holding his crosier, the Virgin and Child, and the badly damaged image of an unidentified saint and St. Martin with a beggar.

Frescoes in Church of St. Agatha - Kanfanar (Rovinj, Istria)


Frescoes in Church of St. Agatha - Kanfanar, Rovinj The frescoes, which are one of the oldest in Istria, are situated at the church of St. Agatha near Kanfanar built most probably in the 11th century. Geometrical bordures repeat the ornamental repertoire characteristic of Carolingian painting. The characters of Apostles in the apse are one of the best preserved part of the great compositions of the Last Judgement. The Apostles are depicted in simple postures, the static quality of the composition is underlined by the color alternations of their garments. All the colors were painted onto a layer of fresh, wet plaster (a fresco) except for the white pigment, which has been painted on dry plaster (a secco).

Frescoes in Church of St. Andrew - Red Island (Rovinj, Istria)


Frescoes in Church of St. Andrew - Red Island, Rovinj The remains of wall paintings can be found at the church of Sv. Andrew which is situated at the Red Island near Rovinj. The church belonged to the Benedictine monastery of St Mary and St. Andrew which has been for the first time mentioned in documents dating from 858. In the lower part of the dome are visible the faint traces of a large composition, with number of saints figures, which are supposed to be able to represent the scene of the Ascension. In the fragmentary depiction of the Crucifixion, like the relaxed fingers with the thumb covering the wound, at the sideways tied loincloth, the head of Christ is leaning with a short beard and body contours notice the influence of the Benedictine painting work from the Carolingian period. The remains of wall paintings dating back from the turn of 9th to 10th century.