Podcast in English
Text size
Bulgarian National Radio © 2023 All Rights Reserved

Kyustendil celebrates 141 years since the birth of artist Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora

"Genius, it is that ingredient that makes the grape juice to vigorously ferment and become wine. In every drop of juice there are millions of ferments that are bubbling, boiling, fizzing, coming to the surface to manifest themselves, but note, my son, only if they find the conditions to manifest themselves. Every person has a dormant genius inside of him. But if conditions are not right for it to manifest... If the the grapes in cistern were to freeze, the geniuses, the ferments would freeze too. Or if the grape juice is diluted with water. That is why slavery oppresses and poisons people, because man is always anxious. And that is why the Bulgarian genius has not shown itself much in the past, because it was oppressed,– Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora (The Master) once said. The artist of souls, as the brilliant master artist is often called, shared his thoughts in a conversation with writer and journalist Mikhail Topalov.

Each time we turn to the memory of Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora, we discover something new for us as Bulgarians.

February 1, the birthday of Vladimir Dimitrov, is a special day for Kyustendil. The life of every resident here is invariably connected with the Master's works, with the houses and trees painted by the artist, and with the people whose faces are captured on the canvases. Life in Kyustendil is inextricably linked with the gallery, which houses most of Vladimir Dimitrov's masterpieces.

"His work is a true blessing for our city and for us - the fifty or so artists here," says Evgeni Serafimov, who feels called to speak about and explore the work of his distinguished predecessor:

"This is a major holiday in Kyustendil - February 1, because art is the magic of this place. There is no artist in in this town who does not relate to the Master's work, and each and every one of them speaks with the same affection and admiration that I feel for Vladimir Dimitrov. Every year on the 1st of February the Master is "reborn" among us.

He studied in Kyustendil, then came back here to work and leave to us, the people, his finest paintings, which today make up the permanent exhibition of the National Gallery "Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora". Every year for his birthday the gallery prepares special and memorable events. This year's event is the ceremony of awarding the National Prize for Painting in the name of the Master. This award was re-established a few years ago as the National Award for Best Exhibition by a Contemporary Artist. Its winner also gets the opportunity to arrange a solo exhibition at the Master's Gallery in Kyustendil. So this year we will see a wonderful painting exhibition of the new winner of the award - Atanas Parushev.Many artists, not only from Kyustendil region, but also from all over the country, come to the town to celebrate the holiday and to see the exhibition of their colleague. Traditionally, after visiting the gallery, everyone goes to the village of Shishkovtsi to the house and museum of Vladimir Dimitrov-Maistora and to pay tribute to the pilgrimage site in the center of the village. Thus, for one exciting day on 1 February, Kyustendil turns into a capital of art. It is also a nice occasion to rub shoulders with the best contemporary Bulgarian artists and sculptors who will fill the gallery. Here they meet, talk, look at the works, and the Master's name is constantly mentioned - so he is among us again. The atmosphere is very solemn and at the same time warm and pleasant - in the Bulgarian way."

Photo credit: Facebook/ Art Gallery "Vladimir Dimitrov-Maystora"

English version: Elizabeth Radkova

Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

More from category

On Europe Day the radio voice of the Rhodopes celebrates its 7th birthday

The regional radio station of the Bulgarian National Radio in Kardzhali celebrates its 7th birthday today. In Bulgaria, people like to say that the first 7 years are the most important - a person becomes aware of themselves and..

published on 5/9/23 1:11 PM

"In a glass cage" - a Bulgarian ultramarathoner with a unique social experiment

For the 10th day now, the world-famous ultramarathoner Krasimir Georgiev has been living in self-isolation in a glass cage in the centre of Sofia. It is a symbol of the digital cage in which the modern man places himself, becoming subject to social..

published on 5/9/23 1:10 PM

May 6 Military Parade is back again ‎after three-year hiatus

After a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when May 6, the Day of Courage and the day of the Bulgarian Army, was celebrated with demonstrations in line with anti-epidemic measures, this year the military parade will take place.  On May..

published on 5/6/23 6:55 AM