The Historical Museum in Burgas is one of the few in the country that keeps in its collection an icon of the holy equal apostles Cyril and Methodius. It dates from the second half of the 19th century. What distinguishes it from other similar religious works dedicated to St. Cyril and St. Methodius is the rare image of the two saints.
The iconic composition represents the holy brothers, slightly turned to each other, dressed in monastic robes, which in itself is a little popular in our Revival art. They hold an unfolded scroll with the alphabet written on it. St. Methodius, as an elder, is represented with a white beard, and St. Cyril with a brown one. Above them is depicted Christ Almighty, who blesses them from Heaven. In the background, the landscape is clear of details.
Such an iconographic model, representing the holy brothers united in a composition with a scroll of the alphabet, as a frontispiece was first shown in an engraving published in the Bulgarian Primer, published in Moscow in 1844. It is known from the main publications about the engraving that this is the earliest work known so far, where St. Cyril and St. Methodius are shown together holding the scroll with the alphabet. The illustration is entitled "Bulgarian Librarians". It is the work of Cornelius Yakovlevich Tromonin. He is the author of lithographic albums, introduced multicolor printing in Russia, setting the stage for chromolithography.
The "Bulgarian Primer", where the engraving is placed, was published with the help of Angeli Nikolajevic Hadjoglu from the city of Ruse. In the 1840s he was a wealthy merchant in Moscow. In 1844 he supported the publication of the "Bulgarian Primer" by Georgi pop Iliev Busilin, born in Batak, studied in Plovdiv, Athens and Moscow.
A decision of the painter, aside from the familiar scheme of engraving from 1844, reveals even more tangibly the Revival mood. In the center of the pictorial field, between the figures of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, above the scroll he places the inscription "Bulgarian Enlighteners", which inscription is not present in the engraving. Quite in the spirit of the time, the icon painter called the holy brothers Enlighteners, thus raising them to a higher level - they are not just scribes, they are the Bulgarian educators.
On the occasion of May 24 - a day of Bulgarian and Slavic literature and culture, the icon can be seen by the general public in the Icon Hall of the Historical Exposition of RHM - Burgas. The working hours of the museum are Tuesday - Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00, and Sunday from 09:00 to 14:00.