Tsanko Lavrenov and the roots of the modern Bulgarian culture

We Bulgarians are very proud of the cultural achievements of our ancient nation. Icons, old urban architecture, murals, woodcarving are among the most famous of Bulgaria’s fine art achievements abroad.

The truth is, however, that very few Bulgarian artists became known abroad if they have not been connected to the former official art management system or had refused to make some kind of cultural propaganda with their art. 

Rarely their works were shown at exhibitions abroad. In many cases they did not participated in exhibitions in the country.

In the collections of very few world famous museums and galleries there are paintings of Bulgarian artists from the second half of 20th century.

Exceptions are those that have emigrated in their youth and have long lived abroad.

Tsanko Lavrenov  (1896-1978) is a name in the fine arts that every nation can be proud of.

Although he is a loved and popular artist in Bulgaria, I think we owe him a lot. He belongs to that group of artists who have enriched our fine art and have transferred it from the usual Orthodox and Balkan-centred spirituality to spirituality and culture with a European dimension.

Tsanko Lavrenov has been inspired all his life by the old Bulgarian monasteries, by the beautiful houses and the steep rocky shortcuts of his native Plovdiv.

I especially like this picture of Tsanko Lavrenov called “Little Night Music”, obviously inspired by the great composer. In the courtyard of a house belonging to a famous wealthy family, in the heart of the old Plovdiv, an orchestra plays Mozart in the moonlight. It is 1967 year.

What is more eloquent than this message?

Have a look at the magnificent works of Tsanko Lavrenov at the web page of the Plovdiv City Art Gallery.