Illumination for the Church of St. Sava’s frescos in Vracar

The small Church of Saint Sava in Vracar was built in 1935 in just 57 days and it represents the guardian of the Temple of Saint Sava, from which it is only fifty meters away. The church was built in Serbian-Byzantine style and it is protected by The Institute for the Protection of Monuments as an object of sacral architecture.

  • Client: The Church of St. Sava’s
  • Date of project: 2021

The church interior is hand painted in copies of frescoes of the Serbian medival monasteries, by the Russian artist Najdorf and zoographers Obrascov and Diki.

Since the old frescoes were in bad condition, the church was re-painted in 1996. The new frescoes were painted by a group of artists led by the fresco painter Dragan Marunić. In 2020, they were once again refreshed and restored.

Recently, the clergy of the church contacted us with a request to illuminate the mentioned frescoes so that their content and beauty are presented to the visitors in a credible way, regardless of the ambient light conditioned by the year season or current weather. The request also implied that the frescoes must not be damaged in any way, nor the architecture of the church be disturbed.

Such a request, as well as the nature of the building itself, emphasized the necessity of choosing a light fixture that will authentically display the colors on the frescoes and all their shades without changing their appearance.

The choice also included having in mind the light intensity and the possibility to adjust it. This was important in order to prevent a high concentration of heat that could damage the frescoes, as well as to control the contrast which allows for more pleasant enjoying the content of frescoes. Lesser intensity is necessary during cloudy days, as well as during the time of the year when the sun sets earlier, in order to see the frescoes in the most adequate way possible, which implies moderate lighting. On the other hand, days with enough sunlight require stronger illumination, so that the church is not dominated by windows and light entering through them and distracting attention from the frescoes.

Considering all the conditions, the best choice was the Chauvet TF-20 LED accent luminaire with an excellent CRI index and appropriate light output. Thanks to its CCR LED dimming, these lightweight and compact in size work seamlessly with conventional dimmers, and thanks to LED technology, it will not cause heating of the frescoes. They are supplied with barn doors that allow additional directing and control of the light beam.

With the installation of Chauvet professional lighting, the interior of the church gained an additional architectural dimension, and the beauty of the frescoes is presented to visitors under any ambient conditions and in a safe way.