The Artistic Symbolism of the Chapel’s Lost Interior of the Greek-Catholic Theological Academy in Lviv




hierotopy, creators of the sacred space, Byzantine style, early Christian symbols, semiosphere


This paper looks at the artistic design of the chapel of the Greek Catholic Seminary in Lviv that was created after the earlier church was destructed in the military events of 1918. Articles in press written after the ceremony of the consecration, the records of greeting speeches of the church leaders who attended the ceremony, and the essays of art critics provide an important insight into the iconographical programme of the chapel and its functioning as the scared space. Rare photographs of iconostasis and photo-fixations of different stages of the interior decoration supplement the narrative sources. Fragments of the iconostasis are stored in the funds of the National Museum in Lviv. These are the works of Petro Kholodnyi the Elder that managed to survive through the destruction of ‘risky’ artworks of 1952. The wall paintings were bleached during the Soviet period, and currently, they cannot be seen, which complicates the research. In this essay, I seek to reveal the initial intentions of the chapel’s patrons and to highlight how the restored interior serves their educational and ideological purposes. I shall discuss the use of symbols of early Christian or Ukrainian origin through the methodological lenses of Yu. Lotman’s theory on construction of interior spaces, semiospheres and their boundaries, A. Lidov’s concept of hierotopy. I shall address the use of particular symbols and signs and their role and provide explanatory texts from the Bible in order to trace their origin. Particular attention shall be paid to the patron’s understanding and articulation of the main purposes of sacral art and to the impact their understanding might have had on the artistic style.  Thus, I shall focus on the use of the elements of Byzantine style in decoration of the chapel, for this style was of primary importance for church leaders and artists involved.



How to Cite

Avdykovych Р. (2021). The Artistic Symbolism of the Chapel’s Lost Interior of the Greek-Catholic Theological Academy in Lviv. TEXT AND IMAGE: ESSENTIAL PROBLEMS IN ART HISTORY, 2(8).



Modern and Contemporary art