Rosen Donchev

Drawing from Christian symbolism, traditional Bulgarian folklore, mythology and the universal values in art, Rosen Donchev creates paintings, poems and drawings populated by timeless landscapes, expressive compositions and abstract narrative scenes. His wide-ranging work embodies an intersection of spirituality, freedom, and fine art.

“Art is a wonderful journey through time and space, to the promised land of the soul. For me it is a way of life and the only way for an artist to be truly happy.”


Donchev received a master's degree in plastic and fine arts from the University of Shumen “Konstantin Preslavski”. Master of Slavic Philology from Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". Master iconographer at the Association of Masters of Folk Arts and Crafts. Member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists.


Until 1995, Rosen Donchev was a freelance artist. He then began his research and creative work related to Orthodox icon painting at the Ethnographic Museum “Etar”. These years are associated with thousands of copies of Orthodox icons and purely theoretical work in this direction. The team of the icon-painting studio searches for, discovers and popularises rare motifs from the Bulgarian Christian tradition. The studio itself has become a trademark of quality and professionalism. Rosen dedicated twenty years of his life to master this craftsmanship.

The Bulgarian Revival icon and classical Byzantine art leave a bright imprint on his style. In addition to the skilful use of old iconographic techniques and natural pigments, Donchev incorporates deep Christian symbolism and metaphor in his works. In 2015, he fully transitioned from traditional iconography to creating abstract compositions that allow his imagination to run free.

From angels, goddesses and infants to fairies and dragons flying next to saints, all naturally blend together with his abstract worlds where the concrete is absent. It's all a game of colour, material and imagination. These figures act as icons and symbols - hosts for more sensual themes of magic, harmony, kindness and love. Multi-style, always searching, experimenter and at the same time a classic painter. 


In 2010, Rosen and Vanya created a gallery for contemporary Bulgarian art called ATELITO. Part of the work of the ATELIETO is dedicated to developing the talent of gifted children and youth. A huge number of their realised creative projects are related to children. ATELIETO is not only a gallery but a family home and academy turning creativity and art into a way of life.

Vanya and Rosen also realise their ideas on stage. Scenography, costumes and theatrical posters are working for some of the most successful performances of the Kazanlak theater. As well as projects related to textiles and fashion.

In recent years, Rosen Donchev has been working on his own projects related to the synthesis between different arts and on author's poetic and textual projects. He himself says: “I try to write the things I can't draw, and vice versa”.

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Kazanlak, Bulgaria