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Painting of the altar wall at Saint Nicholas Church in Granada (Spain), Ivanka Demchuk and Arsen Bereza


The uniqueness of this experience is in creation of the modern sacred work of art on the altar wall about 70 square meters in a 16th century church. It is really interesting and unusual to work in such an ancient space, because the special atmosphere of the place and history permeates everything here, both the church itself and the environment around it. The laconic architecture of the Church of St. Nicholas encourages a more creative vision, the search for new means of expression, a modern interpretation and a new solution to sacred images.

An important task for the artist, who creates a modern sacred painting, is to preserve the atmosphere of spirituality that will promote prayer and inspire reflection, while the painting itself must be stylistically relevant for its time.

The composition of the painting on the altar wall is quite unusual and has no analogues among sacred wall paintings, it is a combination of two different plots in one scene - the plot "Resurrection of Christ" and the plot "St. Nicholas with scenes from his life". The difficulty was in the combination of them, as usually they are depicted in different parts of the temple, but in this case there was no need to obey the classical order of placing the scenes, and given the importance of each of them, it was quite appropriate to place them next to each other on the altar wall.


When creating the painting, emphasis was placed on the simplicity and conciseness of forms, colour and tonal selection, monumentality of images, selectivity of detailing - everything that could help to create an atmosphere of cleanliness and order, focus on the most important, convey an atmosphere of space and freedom, to create a feeling of lightness and space.

We used a combination of ancient classical techniques with new ones, which gave a unique impression of painting and thanks to which it became possible to achieve special effects and the desired result at the end. Elements from the local environment were used in the details and subjects of the painting, in particular the colors, natural and architectural elements characteristic for Granada.

Ivanka Demchuk

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