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ყინწვისის ანგელოზი [khintsvisis angelozi] Angel of Kintsvisi
Kintsvisi is an ancient place in the heart of Georgia, in silence imbued with an archaic aura.
Georgian is a land of old temples, which have miraculously survived wars and insurgencies. In this country it is not rare to find unforgettable scenery around an ancient temple, and around a special charm, which the hands of the old Georgian architects created, amid great torments and disorder, in days of peace that occasionally came about.
Georgian Christian architecture, starting from the fifth century, used architectural forms and methods which were widespread in the world at the time, but it created at the same time its own original architectural compositions. Here we had wall paintings, powerful monumental art, which also recorded Georgia’s spiritual and lay history. Together with Biblical subjects, Georgian frescoes also portrayed kings and noblemen.
The original architectural types, the language Georgians used to narrate their ecclesiastic or lay history is impressive everywhere that a Georgian church stands: in Abkhazia, in Tao-Klarjeti, in Inner Kartli. Bolnisi Sion (5th century), Mtskheta’s Holy Cross (6-7th centuries), Oshki (10th century), Bichvinta (10th century), Ilori (11th century), Sveti Tskhoveli, ‘The Living Pillar’ (11th century), Bagrat (11th century), Sapara (13th century), Zarzma (14th century), Ananuri (16th century) are some examples.
Kintsvisi monastery, of the 13th century, also has frescoes: here we can still find one of the four portraits of the magnificent Queen/King Tamar. That would be enough to make the monastery a monument of Georgian history, but there is something else, even more great, magnificent and eternal.
It is a fresco which is just called the Kintsvisi Angel. Painted by an unknown artist, the Easter angel seems to be truly weightless, peaceful, magnificent, powerful and simple. This seems to be Georgia’s dream of harmony despite the entanglement of centuries of tragic dangers: a dream symbol of what the country strives for.