20 November 2016

The Timișeni Church, Gorj County

The church appertains to the orthodox cult from the Boncea hamlet, Timișeni village, commune of Fărcășești, Gorj County, transferred to the museum in 2002, it fits together with the typology of religious wooden monuments currently exhibited on the Village Museum premises. Standing under the protection of Saint Nicholas, the church dates back to 1773, according to the year scripted on the sovereign icons, signed by Mihai and Gheorghe Zugravu and painted after the building’s completion.

In planimetric perspective, the monument is classified in the category of churches with: altar, nave, narthex and porch. The interior space is covered with a cradle vault. Above the narthex stands the bell tower, fitted with a turret covered by a crest and crowned with a metal cross. The apse has a hexagonal shape, with a symmetric split.

The monument is built with dovetail corner notched oak girders and beams hewn by axe. A monumental beam, with notched edges, supports the entire weight of the building. The same dovetail technique is used to join the beams forming the hexagon of the apse, evidence to the technical ability and skill of crafty carpenters from Oltenia. The hipped roof is covered with shingle. A squared steeple sits above the narthex topped with a cross; a second metal cross is featured on the ridge, above the altar.

Whittled decorations, carvings and etchings, adorn the church’s exterior, underlining an intricate ornamental variety of artistic beauty. The porch brings together countless decorative elements: the shapes of columns points out influences with Constantin Brâncuși’s sculptures, the framing of the entrance is marked by the Rope motif, and the fretted balustrade is modeled after the porches of Gorj houses. The backside notched girders and beams are longer and carved in the form of the well-known “Horse-head” motif.

The Church of Timișeni is valued considering its exceptional interior and exterior paintings. Painted in three stages, it constitutes a remarkable reflection of the community it has served and of the historical era in which it was built. Petru Diaconescu’s votive portrait (the mayor that created the painting) portrays him in a traditional Gorj costume (Romanian: „schileresc”).

Next to him, two boyars are painted in period attire. The exterior paintings are applied directly on the wall beams, to portray, the „Prophets” (in accordance with byzantine canons) on the southern wall, „The Last Judgement” on the porch above the entrance, also the two priests, Barhoata and Pupăzan, the ministers of the church, on the walls of the altar apse.

Reconsecrated in the National Village Museum „Dimitrie Gusti”, the church was bestowed the patronage of Saint Demetrius the New, also the protector of Bucharest.