2014800 Years of the Portal of Split Cathedral - First Day Cover
2014 800 Years of the Portal of Split Cathedral - First Day Cover for only GBP £1.63
According to reliable sources, on 23 April 1214, on St. George Day, the Split Cathedral (Christianised Diocletian’s temple) was enriched by a portal made of nutwood, by the domestic master, carver and painter Andrija Buvina. Thus, besides by the monumental Romanesque bell tower the same period was marked by another important artistic creation that gave strong mediaeval and Christian imprint to otherwise antique, Roman building. With reference to rarity of preserved wooden Romanesque reliefs and exceptionality and modernity of artistic expression, the portal of Split Cathedral takes a prominent position on European scale and in specialists' overviews of the epoch. About Andrija Buvina, according to the testimony from the chronicle by Tomo Arhiđakon (Thomas Archdeacon), we know that he lived and worked in Split and was famous also for his huge painting of St. Christopher. Buvina is not a family name, but a nickname for family or an individual and it was believed that the nickname testified about his Slavic origin (an augmentative of the word flea (in Croatian buha or buva), by analogy of word formation of Vučina (huge wolf), Ježina (huge hedgehog), Gujina (huge adder). However, a new, original theses (N. Kuzmanić) derives this name from the Roman name for the island of Čiovo (Bua, i.e. Buina, Buvina), in which case the attribute of our old master would mean a geographical determinant, like in the case of in later period appearing Masters Juraj Dalmatinac (the Dalmatian) and Nikola Firentinac ( the Florentine). Even if he was from the island of Čiovo, Andrija was certainly domiciled in Split, and as direct predecessor of Master Radovan from Trogir, he became one of the first and most important names of Croatian art, especially sculpture art (carving). As concerns iconographic programme he most probably followed the suggestions of his contemporary – the bishop Bernardo of Split from Perugia, and thus presented on two wings of the portal (each consisting of 14 fields) the whole life of Jesus. On the left side the depictions are from the Annunciation to the Resurrection of Lazarus while on the right side there are depictions of Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection. His ideals were partly byzantine and partly west European, decoration also follows antique template, while firm modulation, well- rounded composition and consistent stylisation bear a recognisable personal imprint.