The flaming heart of Danko (vitrage)
A few words about the need to renovate the stained glass from 1972 “The Flaming Heart of Danko” built into the foundation of the Monument of Virgin Mary, due to the technical impossibility of preserving it and the advanced processes of erosion. The repeated attempts to be strengthened did not have the expected outcome.
The designer of the monument-ossuary (as it was called at that time) and respectively of the sculpture-vitrage is the eminent sculptor Stoyu Todorov (1919-1997). In its original, authentic appearance, the composition was filled with colored in its mass, monolithic glass; some of the fragments reached thickness up to 20-25 cm and somewhere more. Due to the sophisticated casting technology of such bulky glass and the lack of specialists in Bulgaria, the Party had attracted Latvian glassmaker Laurinatics, who struggled for months with the glass at the workshops of the glass factory in Beloslav. During those years, there were no impossible things for the Communist Party in regards to the financing of such endeavors of monumental nature…
My task, set in the assignment, was to preserve the current plastic expression of the idea for The Flaming Heart of Danko. With the radical change in the purpose and status of the monument, the loading of the architectural volume with Christian symbols and in connection with the essential and necessary synthesis, certain additions were made to the graphic solution in the design. Those are the Christian symbols that were added to the composition, which enrich, complement and contribute to the synthesis:
• Insertion of the Heart-Raising Hands in the Orthodox Cross, which is inscribed in a halo, a symbol of divinity
• Insertion of three, one into another, hearts, a symbol of the trinity of God and the divine love.
• Light emanating from a single conceptual, composite and color center.
These are just some of the comprehensible Christian symbols I have used to achieve the plastic equivalent of the basic idea.
The technical implementation was realized by Tiffany stained glass technique. I used structural, stained in its mass art glass.
Author: Miho Mihov