Artworks of three generations of the Raynov family donated to NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’

In the Prof. Vasil Gerov Hall on 13 June 2023, the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund received a donation from sculptor Diana-Maria Raynova. It was comprised of artworks by her father, the world-famous sculptor Boyan Raynov, her mother, Stella Raynova (also a sculptor), and one of her own sculptures.


Boyan Raynov (1921–2005) was born in Sofia, but was better known in France, where he lived for many years. He was the son of the writer, art theorist, philosopher and artist, Academician Nikolay Raynov, and brother of Bogomil Raynov. He graduated in Mural Painting from the Academy of Arts in Sofia. His drawing, ‘Beauties and Beasts’, based on Paul Eluard’s book (1947), and included in the donation, was executed in mixed media (ink and watercolour), and displayed at the artist’s first solo exhibition in Paris, where he resided from 1947 until the end of his life.


Stella Raynova (1919–2001) graduated in Sculpture from the Academy of Arts, Sofia, in the 1940s. In 1946, she and her husband Boyan Raynov left for France, where she completed a three-year specialisation at the Academie des Arts in Paris. The work, ‘Face’ (polished bronze and marble) that Diana-Maria donated to the Fund was created by her mother in 1970.


The donor also gave her own work, ‘Owl’ (patinated bronze and black gabbro, created in 1999) to the Fund’s collection. It is the artist’s cast of the original sculpture for the Hristo G. Danov National Award for Literature, annually awarded on behalf of the Ministry of Culture. Diana-Maria Raynova was born in 1947 in Paris. She graduated in Sculpture from the Academy of Arts, under Prof. Velichko Minekov, and is the founder of the Nikolay Raynov Foundation.


‘Boyan Raynov: Master of Love’, a biography by writer Ted Todorov, published in 2023, was also presented at the ceremony held to accept the donation.


Ms Bisera Yosifova, Executive Director of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’, received the donation with gratitude and assured the donor that it will become a significant part of the Fund’s permanent collection.


The celebration ended with a musical performance on the grand piano donated by Prof. Vasil Gerov, by Leda Ignatovich, the 10-year-old granddaughter of Diana Raynova, and a graduate of the Lyubomir Pipkov National School of Music, and 13-year-old Darin Lambrev, junior student at the Academy of Music in Darmstadt, Germany.

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