Romania’s largest mosaic icon of Virgin Mary applied on National Cathedral’s walls

The largest mosaic depicting the More Spacious than the Heavens Icon of the Mother of God was applied on the half-dome that stands above the altar of the National Cathedral in Bucharest on Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

The team of specialists was coordinated by iconographer Daniel Codrescu.

The Panagia Platytera ton ouranon measures 16 meters high and was created by a team of artists coordinated by iconographer Daniel Codrescu. It is the first icon that decorates the walls of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral after the mosaic-covered iconostasis was consecrated by His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on November 25, 2018.

‘Following the cathedral’s consecration, we had a break of about a month when we thought a little about how we could start the cathedral decoration project. In January, we were able to design and conceive the iconography for this apse and to create the Platytera Icon of the Mother of God,’ Codrescu told Trinitas TV.

Due to its impressive size, the team of artists faced a few challenges.

‘We are talking about an unusually large apse of an Orthodox church,’ Codrescu commented. ‘This was the main challenge: its large size.’

The Panagia Platytera ton ouranon will be flanked by the two Archangels and will tower over the Cathedral’s altar.

Daniel Codrescu spoke of a visual connection between the iconostasis and the icon of the Mother of God.

The artists began working at this giant mosaic in the first half of April, having several sources of inspiration.

Codrescu noted that this is not a replica of a single Byzantine icon and it was specially created for the National Cathedral in Bucharest.

‘Patriarch Daniel directed us to certain elements of some of the well-known icons in the Byzantine space that we took and somehow included in this synthesis that we now have,’ Codrescu explained stressing that the depiction of the Mother of God is representative for the Romanian spirit.

The tesserae were produced at the Orsoni historical furnace in Venice.

The artists confessed that they have felt ‘great joy’ after completing the mosaic icon installation.

‘We are the witnesses of works that have never been made at this scale before,’ a member of the team of artists Marcel Codrescu said.

As reported by Daniel Codrescu, future works will include depictions of Old Testament prophets, symbols such as the Ark of the Covenant, the Communion of the Apostles, and other biblical scenes.

Photo: Trinitas TV

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