General Overview of the Three-dimensional Architectural Models as Acroteria in Medieval Georgia

Authors

  • Natalia Chitishvili George Chubinashvili National Research Centre, for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation, Department of Ancient and Medieval Art, Tbilisi, Georgia; University of Fribourg, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Fribourg, Switzerland https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7731-517X

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/2084-140X.11.27

Keywords:

acroteria, architectural models, roofing technique, Medieval Georgia, South Caucasus

Abstract

Medieval architecture of the South Caucasus developed a unique tradition of making acroteria shaped as three-dimensional models of churches. Since the church-shaped acroteria have never been thoroughly explored in Georgia, this paper focuses on examples surviving in the region. Special attention is paid to analyzing the architectural and sculptural aspects of the acroteria, as well as their function. This paper aims at discussing both the formal and functional aspects of the church-shaped acroteria from Georgia. It is intended to explore what kind of church models were usually created in Georgia, how they were designed, and to what extent they resemble or differ from the real architecture. Typically, the model erected on the top of the gables of a church was made of stone, though glazed ceramic acroterion can be found as well, such as that of the Alaverdi Cathedral in Georgia. As the research has shown, the models do not replicate real architecture; they represent abridged images of actual buildings, repeating only their general layout (cross-domed or, rarely, single-nave structure) and a selected number of elements that were evidently considered essential or were typical elements of the architectural repertoire of the period in which the acroterion were created.

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Published

2021-12-30

How to Cite

Chitishvili, N. (2021). General Overview of the Three-dimensional Architectural Models as Acroteria in Medieval Georgia. Studia Ceranea. Journal of the Waldemar Ceran Research Centre for the History and Culture of the Mediterranean Area and South-East Europe, 11, 531–548. https://doi.org/10.18778/2084-140X.11.27

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Articles