On 8 kilometers (~13 miles) southwest of Skopje on the slopes of Vodno, in the village of Gorno Nerezi the monastery of St. Panteleimon with the monastery church is located.
The monastery complex is enclosed with high walls, and in it are the church and monastery quarters.
The monastery is significant for its architecture and paintings.
The church was built by the Byzantine Prince Alexis Angel, son of Constantine Angel, and Theodora, daughter of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus. From the erection of the church in 1164 to the present time is preserved marble plate above the door, when entering the narthex in the nave of the church.
In 1885 the frescoes of the XII and XV / XVI century were overpainted with compositions without any particular artistic value, which has covered the valuable frescoes on Nerezi wall painting.
An important date, related to the history of the church St. Panteleimon, and its fresco painting is the period from 1923-26 when Russian scholar Professor. Nikola Okunjev managed on one part of the church to reveal the frescoes of the XII century.
Architectural conservation work in 1954-57 came to the consolidation of the walls, especially on the north wall and the arches of the church, and in 1969 and the reconstruction of the narthex of whom were saved enough elements for such an action.
In the same period was performed and conservation of the paintings and completely were removed the new paintings from the nineteenth century, which had given the opportunity the Church in Nerezi to be seen in all its beauty and frescoes to be studied.
The discovery of ancient frescoes of the XII century, by the famous historian of Byzantine art prof. Nikola Okunjev meant solving iconographic and stylistic features. It revealed a new era in the chronology of Byzantine wall painting. The discovery of the original frescoes and later the discovery, conservation, and presentation made Nerezi painting among the most important cultural monuments of XII century and has taken an important place in Byzantine art.
The anonymous painter of Nerezi frescoes from the XII century, with its virtuous and color-rich drawings, was able to paint the whole gallery images of various saints. The walls are painted inside the church and divided into zones.
The dramatization of the wall painting of Nerezi fresco master can be seen in the compositions Deposition from the Cross and Lamentation of Christ. These two scenes actually represent a novelty in Byzantine wall painting because of their dramatic realism.
Lamentation of Jesus Christ
The famous scene Lamentation of Christ is the ultimate achievement of Nerezi Master expression dramatization. The symbol of the Virgin Mary to her dead son is handed a realistic, real-life scene shown, with an emphasis on human feelings.
Therefore frescoes in the church St. Panteleimon in Nerezi occupy an important place not only in our medieval wall paintings but also in Byzantine art at the time.
Wall painting in Nerezi is not important and famous in the world only because of its stylistic and iconographic features, but also because of its remarkable artistic quality.