Culture and Art

Resembling other monasteries in our country, Dragomirna Monastery is a great source of culture. The founder Bishop himself and his apprentices have showed great effort into rewriting and improving the religious texts. The religious books donated by the Bishop to the monastery, beautifully decorated with hand made miniatures, some of which are the Bishop’s own work, give us a hint upon Crimca’s artistic qualities, also the founder of a miniature calligraphy school within the monastery. Anastasie Crimca has proved to be a talented and innovator book illustrator.

 Popescu Vâlcea spoke about the school from Dragomirna: “Nowhere on this Earth, besides at Dragomirna, have been rewritten and improved so many manuscripts. Nowhere did this artistic creation receive greater dedication, uniting workers, materials and all kinds of treasures. Nowhere have been used so many colours, so much silver and gold than at Dragomirna.”

From all the manuscripts at Dragomirna remain to tis day only two. The museum holds: a psalm book 1616, a Gospel 1609, two mass books 1610 and 1617 and another Gospel dating from 1616. Two miniature manuscripts have been taken to Bucharest and another one manuscript“the Apostole” can be found at the Imperial Library in Wien. This last manuscript includes Crimca’s will or, as better known, Crimca’s curse, saying that the monastery is not to be under the command of the Holy Mountain in Greece or the Holy Land of Jerusalim.   

The icons within the miniatures of Anastasie Crimca do not usually maintain a strictly to the text approach. Illustrating certain moments within the prayer, the images are very interesting because they show the way the artist chose to express the religious significance through his drawing.The large domain of monumental painting, icons, manuscripts, elements from the folklore and the local legends bring fresh ideas, original signs, thus enriching the iconography.

As well as in paintings, we encounter in the miniatures battle scenes and troubadours, crowds of people, landscapes or architectural elements on the background, among which one can notice Moldavian churches. Anastasie Crimca, through his creation shall remain for future generations and all of those that praise beauty, a great artistical personality.