10 February 2011


In 2011 we mark 540 years since the birth of the great German artist Albrecht Durer (1471-1528).

Considered to be the most remarkable artist of the Northern Renaissance, he is deeply related to the evolution of the printed book with illustrations throughout Europe. In 1511, precisely 500 years ago, his engravings to the Revelation of John the Evangelist (Apocalypse) were re-issued, made as a woodcut. They were a resounding success among the contemporaries of the artist, being widespread outside the German lands, and brought great glory to its author.

At the end of last year the National Art Gallery exposed a major exhibition dedicated to the 200-th anniversary of Zachary Christov Zograf of Samokov (1810-1853). Deservingly apprised as one of the most elevated and highly endowed persons of Bulgarian Renaissance, he stood in front of the public in all his stature as an artist and the author of the three large murals to the Revelation of St. John. The unfolded archive of the family of Samokov painters: the father - Christo Zograf, the elder son-Dimitar and Zachari, reflects the relationship of various arts processes in the Balkans and Europe.

The exhibition at the National Gallery for Foreign Art is dedicated to the influences and translation of a part of the vast Albrecht Durer engravings heritage. This exhibition is a bridge - a distinctive, unusual one, between the German and the Bulgarian culture, two cultures with a different character, strength and appearance in the historical course, both being similar in their point of intersection - the Renaissance.

Through reproductions and originals the Educational Exhibition emphasizes the book production too, as well as later echoes of the veneration to Albrecht Durer and his genius graphic art in Bulgaria and in the town of Samokov - site of early development of the national printed work in the late eighteenth - early nineteenth century.