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Martin Mešša: Wrought crosses

A cross from the village Rovné, eastern SlovakiaAt first sight, wrought crosses are simple wrought objects more or less decorated on the majority of sacred objects from the nineteenth and twentieth century. Older crosses are, however, a more complicated combination of the information whose depiction by signs and ideograms gradually makes itself distant from Christian symbolism. Wrought crosses have remained on several sacral buildings as well as in museum collections. The largest number of shapes from the whole Slovakia was preserved in north east Slovakia. Crosses provide an unusually rich and interesting material for studying the symbols and styles of the period. We can see a shift from a simple protective symbol or ideogram on wrought crosses to decorative elements, from the simple depiction of brilliantly made abbreviation up to an endeavour for perfect shapes depicted in simple artistic forms. Folk art depiction also keeps its unique expression of simple stylisation on wrought crosses. However, we can also find complicatedness and echoes of older imaginations. Every decorative element is part of a sense of a sign. It itself or in combination with other signs creates an ideogram. The complex shapes of crosses in north east Slovakia were created as a synthesis of the ideas of Gothic symbolism, ideas of the Orthodox Christian confession as well as later Baroque ornamentals. However, they were well worked on and recreated by the inventiveness of folk creators.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 03/2005:


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