• Central Railway Station, Mosaic with Sofia Coat of Arms

Central Railway Station, Mosaic with Sofia Coat of Arms

Mosaic with Sofia Coat of Arms by Atanas Yaranov, 1974

The mosaic is made of natural stone in monochrome colors. The dark color palette matches the colors in the Sofia coat of arms, which stands in the center of the mosaic. The differently colored intertwined lines imitate railways and so create a dynamic impression. The tesserae are aligned with precision and geometric accuracy. Atanas Yaranov combines schematic construction and an accurate reproduction of Sofia’s coat of arms.

The mosaic panel is situated high above the floor level and requires the viewer to appreciate it from a distance.

Atanas Yaranov

Atanas Yaranov,
photo: Yaranov’s family archive

Atanas Yaranov was born in Sofia. He graduated from the “Decorative and monumental arts” program at the National Academy of Art in Sofia in 1965, where he had studied under Prof. Georgi Bogdanov. Even in his early appearances in the mid-1960s, he stood out as a creator of murals, mosaics, and easel canvases with a pronounced monumental quality. He constructed his images with a heavy solid line and a definite sculpted form. The themes in his work center on folklore and mythological plots. Yaranov often depicted these themes throughout his career as well as eternal philosophical concepts such as birth and death, grief and suffering, humility and repentance.

Yaranov played an active role in the creation of the monumental decoration of Dimitrovgrad, where he designed and realized six works in 1973. Two of these works, “Peace” and “Family,” were executed in the sgraffito technique while the remaining four were concrete reliefs. Yaranov’s concrete reliefs include “Brigadier Construction” on an eight-story apartment building at 2 Hristo Smirnenski Street, “Fertility” on an eight-storey apartment building at 6 Hristo Smirnenski Street, “Ancient History” on a panel block at 4 Hristo Smirnenski Street, and “Maritsa River” on a panel apartment building at 10 Hristo Smirnenski Street. Other notable works by Yaranov include the mosaic “Dionysian Feast” in the foyer of Hall 2 at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, completed in 1981, and a mosaic at the Satellite office of the Communist Party in Blagoevgrad during the 1980s.

The artist is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the award from the Second National Youth Exhibition, Sofia (1978); an award from the Third National Youth Exhibition, Sofia (1979); an award from the 3rd Triennial of Realistic Painting, Sofia (1979); the “Ilia Petrov” award of the Union of Bulgarian Artists (UBA) for monumental-decorative painting; an award of the Union of Bulgarian Artists (UBA) in the name of “Vladimir Dimitrov – The Master” (1982); and the Zachary Zograf painting prize (1985).

Atanas Yaranov died in 1988 in Sofia.

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