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National Iconographic Museum Onufri
Berat and surrounding
Architecture,  Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions,  Temples, Churches
Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions, 
Temples, Churches

The city which is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site wonderfully combines several architectural styles. Churches and mosques adjoin there, and their interiors were decorated by the same craftsmen. To understand this city you need to visit its shrines. Or you can just go to the «Onufri» Museum and see the best examples of the sacred art of Berat.

The National Iconographic Museum is located inside the Orthodox Church of the Dormition of St Mary which was built in 1797. This church is recognized as a historical monument of post-Byzantine architecture in Albania. It was opened in 1986 and named after the 16th-century Albanian artist known to the world as the icon painter Onufri. In fact, Onufri was not only an icon painter. First of all, he was an Orthodox priest who painted beautiful portraits and landscapes in a typical manner of the Venetian school of painting. Little is known about the master himself. According to some sources, he was born in Berat, while others claim that the artist came to Albania from Greece. His ethnic origin is also a mystery.
All of Onufri's works are distinguished by their realism and individuality, intensive use of color, and natural dyes. He was the first artist to use pink in the painting of icons. However, he never managed to reveal the secret of its creation.

Not only Onufri's works make up the museum's collection which includes 173 rare exhibits. There you can see the magnificent icons of his son Nikola, the original bright frescoes of David Selenica, the outstanding artist of the 17th century, and amazing miniatures of another outstanding artist of Albania of the 18th century – Kostandin Shpataraku. There are also beautiful works of unknown masters. In total, the museum presents 106 icons and 73 valuable objects of the sacred art of the 14-20th centuries. All of them were selected from the rich fund of churches and monasteries in Albania.

Address: Muzeu Kombëtar Ikonografik Onufri

Published by

Oksana Shmakova

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