THE PERMANENT COLLECTION OF SERBIAN ART OF THE 18TH CENTURY
During the Baroque period, the iconostasis becomes more complex, acquiring a more elaborate structure and wood carved elements. The painting and its frame, viewed as content and form, become one and carry a unified message.
This iconostasis is illustrative of the transition towards the artistic ideas of the high Baroque. It is the work of the most prominent Serbian Baroque painter Teodor Kračun and the woodcarver Arsenije Marković. The throne icon of Christ still contains the characteristic contemplative expression, while in other compositions, especially in the scenes given in the socle, the overall appearance is in accordance with the central European artistic tradition. The work of Teodor Kračun is characterized by the integration of previously adopted procedures and newly acquired techniques, learned at the Art Academy in Vienna. Besides, his artistic talent and specific and original poetics qualify him as one of the most prominent painters on the high Baroque artistic scene.
Woodcarving has had a significant role in the process of creation of church mobiliary. It developed relatively freely in accordance to the general artistic tendencies in the Habsburg Monarchy. The Baroque idea about the synthesis in art – Gesamtkunstwerk – resulted in the creation of rich church mobiliary. This was a period in which the form and disposition of individual pieces were fixed, serving as a model according to which Orthodox churches would be fitted in the future. The topography of an Orthodox church was defined by its function and symbolic meaning and was not going to be changed in the following centuries.
As time went by, the woodcarvers’ art was developed into a form of craft, with the most prominent workshops based in Novi Sad. During the last three decades of the 18th century, most of the iconostases and other items of church mobiliary in the newly built churches of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci were the created by the woodcarvers Marko Gavrilović and his sons, Arsenije and Aksentije Marković. It is only in this period that the woodcarving craftsmen, and the painters alike, began to inscribe their names on completed iconostases, emphasizing in this way their importance in the creation of art works.