Rudenica Monastery is located near Aleksandrovac, in the Rasina district, in southern parts of Serbia. It was built by a nobleman Vukašin and his wife, Vukosava, whose founders’ portraits are preserved in the nave of the church. The church, now dedicated to St Elijah, and whose original dedication is unknown, was built toward the end of the 14th century and painted between 1403 and 1405. Much of the painting has been destroyed since the church was in ruins and without a roof until 1936 when it was restored. It belongs to the Morava school of architecture, based on its ground plan and decorative elements. It was built as a trefoil, with a five-sided apse on the outside, semi-circular on the inside, a dome above the nave resting on pilasters, and a blind dome above the narthex. A cornice divides the facade into two zones- the upper one adorned with rose windows and the lower one with biforas. Plastered surfaces of the facades had been enlivened by fresco decoration imitating cloisonné masonry.
One of the painters, probably the one leading the group of painters, left his name, Theodore, next to the image of the Mother of God on the north wall of proscomedia. He was probably responsible for the portraits of founders painted on the south wall of the west bay of the nave, as well as for the portraits of Despot Stefan Lazarević and his brother Vuk on the west wall. In the first zone of the nave, other standing figures were painted, those of Christ, the Mother of God, apostles Peter and Paul, Holy Warriors and Monks, including Saint Simeon Nemanja and Saint Sava the Serbian. Above them are scenes from the cycle of Great Feasts, the Passion of Christ, and busts of saints. In the dome, between the windows, some fragments of figures of Old Testament prophets can be seen. In the sanctuary, only the standing figures in the lower zone remain. As there are traces of plaster in the narthex, it seems likely that it was painted at some point, but there are no remnants of the painting there.
The monastery has been active since its restoration in 1936. Frescoes were conserved in1971, and architecture in 1996.
The best of pictures in a short presentation. Go though them at your own pace or run a pre-built slideshow.
Collection of photographs of the monastery church, buildings, architectural decoration and wall painting.