The work of the painter Damiane occupies a special place
in the history of the development of monumental painting in Georgia, particularly
in the first half of the 14th century. His art organically stems from national
artistic traditions of ancient Georgia, and along with that is connected
with advanced trends in the art of the Palaeologue Byzantium, slavonic
countries, especially Serbia, Macedon and ancient Russia.
The emergence of the new style in the art of the
epoch in question, characterized as it was by moderation of religious asceticism,
greater freedom and dynamism of composition, a keen interest in space and
perspective, is accounted for by a powerful opposition to the mediaeval
world outlook. This opposition manifestde itself in different ways but
simultaneously in Western Europe and Byzantium, in the Balkans, in Russia
and in Georgia. The art of the epoch becomes more realistic by degrees,
more emotional and humanistic.
These new trends found most vivid expression in
monumental painting. The circle of traditional themes was considerably
expanded, episodes from the lives of local saints coming to feature largely
in murals. The canonical iconography was gradually renounced, and faces
were represented in a more life-like manner. The proportions of figures
become more natural and elegant, thre is often bold and free foreshortening.
The architectural background becomes more complex and is shown in deeper
perspective; genuine moments of architecture are sometimes depicted; mountains
and trees gradually become more realistic. The artist's palette becomes
The establishment of a new style of monumental painting
in Georgia is eloquently manifested in murals at Ubisi
done by the Georgian painter Damiane. The entire second register is filled with scenes
from life of St. George to whom the Ubisi church is dedicated. Damiane paints in free and bold brush-strokes laid
on confidently and most skifully, which makes his manner originally "impressionistic".
Damiane's work striking the viewer with powerful artistic
inspiration, the pathos of imagery and an original manner of painting springs
from the traditions of Georgian monumental painting. The painter Damiane
is intrinsically connected with the artistic traditions of ancient Georgian
monumental painting and he will always remain on the pages of Georgian
history as one of the most remarkable figures in Georgian artistic culture.
The work of this artist originated from the national
traditions of Georgian art, is imbued with the national spirit and is characterized
by a peculiar Georgian national iconographic approach. The Ubisi painting
done by Damiane are of great interest even today and take a prominent place
in the history of Georgian mediaeval culture.