The painting on the iconostasis of the Costeştii din Vale (Dâmboviţa)
This study considers the iconostasis in the church of Costeştii din Vale, built by Marin Postelnicul in 1831. Architecturally designed, the iconostasis has the general appearance of the sumptuous brancovan iconostasis of the late seventeenth century and the beginning of next one, spread in Wallachia under the traditional formula established on Mount Athos in the sixteenth century. Taken as a whole, the general configuration of the iconostasis in the church of Costeştii din Vale shows some features that place it within the local tradition, even if some structure and ornamentation details are influenced, to some extent, by western art. This phenomenon is characteristic to the early period of crystallization of the brancovan style when western elements, present in their original form (not assimilated yet), will be found together with Romanian elements, traditional elemnts of the local art, and which alltogether form some ensembles of an undeniable beauty. There are similarities between the iconostasis of Costeştii din Vale church and that of the monastery church of Cotroceni, Bucharest, founded by Serban Cantacuzino. There are striking similarities between the two iconostasis both as sculpture and painting, similarities that go in some cases up to identity. Carved and entirely gilded, both iconostasis are characterized by sumptuous decoration, dominated by very fine vegetable elements done in a flat relief prints whivh makes them look like a precious lace. Carved and gilded entirely, both temples are characterized by sumptuous decoration, dominated by very fine vegetable element done in a flat relief prints them look a precious lace.
Keywords: iconostasis brancovan style, royal doors, icons of the great feasts, sculpture