The Svetlana Tomekovic Database of Byzantine Art

Svetlana TomekovicSvetlana Tomekovic was born in Belgrade in 1941 and died prematurely in Paris in 1994. A renowned scholar she published extensively in the field of Byzantine art and especially on frescoes, manuscripts, iconography and hagiography (please see below for her bibliography).

A full obituary by Catherine Jolivet-Levy is available, please see “In memoriam Svetlana Tomekovic,’ Revue des Etudes byzantines 54, 1996, 338-340

Svetlana TomekovicShe was also a photographer of considerable stature and during her lifetime she amassed an extensive archive of slides mainly of frescoes and buildings which she had visited. These include works in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Crete, Cyprus, Georgia, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and of course Greece.

In advance of adding these works to the Index of Christian Art where they will be fully catalogued and iconographically analyzed, they have been digitized and the data on the slides fielded into a short template specially designed for the project by Jon Niola (Database Manager in the Index of Christian Art). My colleagues in the archive, Laura Cochran, Robin Dunham, Giovanni Freni, and Judith Golden have worked on the project over the last few months and I would like to thank them for their help and eagerness to undertake this work.

The material is particularly interesting and covers many of the major and lesser known buildings in these areas. The coverage within each site is by no means complete or extensive but it forms a valuable archive and resource for the student of the Byzantine world. The cataloguing data is not extensive and like many scholars it was clearly a collection which the photographer knew and which would eventually be documented. This was sadly not to be and what we now have are our attempts to transcribe her notes on the slides. It is hoped that the cataloguing data will be extended over time and any feedback is particularly welcome. We hope that there are no errors in the data but expect that there are! To that end we very much hope that you will provide us with feedback so that it can be improved.

Svetlana TomekovicThe database is self explanatory. The user is first required to select a country from the seventeen listed in the dropdown box on the left side of the screen and then to press the submit button. If Cyprus is selected for example you are returned with 24 screens of images-all arranged in the sequence in which they were catalogued. To refine this option it is necessary to select a more precise geographic area in the box to the right-in this case there are twelve area in Cyprus catalogued and if Lagoudera is selected you are then given the first screen (of four) each of which has eighteen images. At the moment it is not possible to refine the search option beyond this level. Svetlana Tomekovic visited these sites on many occassions and her collection was cataloged in the order in which the images were taken. Consequently all of the images of the various churches in a city such as Thessaloniki are randomly found when the second search option is taken. It is necessary to go through all of the image files for complete coverage. To see a larger format image and the cataloguing data simply click on the image.

This project would not have been possible without the initiative and help of Catherine Jolivet-Levy who has also give her own collection of slides to the Index. It is entirely thanks to her that the collection is now online and for you to use and my heartiest thanks go to her. An acknowledgement must also go to Catherine Piganiol of the Bibliotheque Byzantine in Paris for her help.

Her posthumous book on the iconography of holy hermits and monks in Byzantine monumental painting is being edited for publication by Catherine Jolivet-Levy and Lydie Hadermann Misguich Les saints ermites et moines dans la peinture murale byzantine (collection: Byzantina Sorbonensia 26), Paris 2011 (2011)

Colum Hourihane, Director, Index of Christian Art

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Svetlana Tomekovic Bibliography

“Les Répercussions du choix des saint patron sur le programme iconographique des églises du 12e siècle en Macédoine et dans le Péloponnèse,” in Zograf XII, (1981), 25-42; figs. 1-11

“Hagiographie peinte: Trois Exemples crétois,” in Zograf XV, (1984), 41-50; figs. 1-13

“Note sur saint Gérasime dans l’art byzantin,” in Zbornik za likovne umetnosti, XXI, (1985), 277-285

“Les Particularités du cycle peint de la vie de David Garezeli (IXe/Xe siècle - début du XIIIe siècle)” in Revue des études géorgiennes et caucasiennes no. 2, (1986), 113-134; figs. 1-17

“Les Saints ermites et moines dans le décor du narthex de Mileseva,” in Colloque scientifique international à l’occasion de 750 ans de son existence, juin 1985. Edited by Vojislav J. Djuric (Belgrade, 1987), 51-67

“Le ’Portrait’ dans l’art byzantin: Exemple d’effigies de moines du Ménologe de Basile II à Decani,” in Decani i vizantijska umetnost sredinom XIV veka. Decani et l’art byzantin au milieu du XIVe siècle, (Belgrade, 1989), 121-136; figs. 1-23

“Les Miracles du Christ dans la peinture murale byzantine et géorgienne (XIIe siècle - début du XIIIe),” in Revue des études géorgiennes et caucasiennes, nos. 6-7, (1990-1991), 185-204; figs. 1-7

“La tradition monastique dans les fondations et les écrits de l’archevêque Danilo II,”in L’archevêque Danilo II et son époque, (Belgrade, 1991) (Colloques Scientifiques de l’Académie Serbe des Sciences et des Arts, vol. 58, Classe des sciences historiques 17), 425-441.

“Maladie et guérison dans la peinture murale byzantine du XIIe siècle,” in Maladie et société à Byzance, A cura di Evelyne Patlagean (Spoleto Centro italiano di studi sull’Alto Medioevo, 1993), 103-118; figs. 1-16

“Ermitage de Paphos: Décors peints pour Néophytos le Reclus,” in Les Saints et leur sanctuaire à Byzance: Textes, images et monuments, Publié par Catherine Jolivet-Lévy, Michel Kaplan, Jean-Pierre Sodini, (Paris, Centre de Recherches d’Histoire et de Civilisation Byzantines, 1993), Publications de la Sorbonne. Byzantina Sorbonensia , 151-171; figs. 1-20