• Sasha Lozanova
  • Stela Tasheva Institute of Art Studies, BAS; University of Forestry


images on banknote emissions, second half of 20th century, semantics, symbolics, societal relations, architecture


Ever since antiquity monetary units have been used as means of exchange in economy, commerce, etc. As an archive of visual images, they contain a broad range of information about historical events, ruling institutions and state authorities, everyday life and culture. Paper banknotes appear much later in time. They inherit the traditions in the artistic and decorative design of monetary units (broadly speaking) and in parallel to societal development their design incorporates new forms. Additionally, banknotes are a rich source of information about the state systems, the forms of social and societal relations, values (mindset), doctrines, fashion, etc.

The current study presents banknotes from the second half of the 20-th century, emitted in several Balkan countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia and Greece. They are viewed through the perspective of art analysis. The article outlines the reproduction of architectural objects onto the banknotes, analysed in a much broader context. The latter concerns the prevailing political, ideological, value-related and cultural atmosphere of those times.

The following questions are posed during the analysis of the banknote sample:

  • What is represented onto the banknotes and why?

  • How is it represented?

  • What are the messages in the architectural images and the affiliated motifs?

The interpretation of the selected banknote sample is elaborated from a historical and cultural-anthropological perspective. The article highlights both the specific and the common in the reproduced images onto the banknotes of the above countries. The signs of the past and the related images are presented in terms of their underlying contents.

Author Biographies

  • Sasha Lozanova

    Sasha Lozanova is a Doctor of Sciences and holds the position of an Associate Professor. She is an art analyst and ethnologist and has a long-standing experience in research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (at the Institute of Art Studies and the Institute of Folklore Studies) and teaching at the Technical University and the University of Forestry.

    Sasha Lozanova’s professional interests lie in the spheres of the history and theory of art and architecture, design, ethnology, Jewish studies, art criticism. She is the author of more than 130 scientific publications in both Bulgaria and abroad, including six monographs (two of which are co-authored). She also is the author of sever dozens of publications in the field of art criticism.


  • Stela Tasheva , Institute of Art Studies, BAS; University of Forestry

    Stela Tasheva holds a doctoral degree and the position of an Associate Professor. She is a researcher at the Fine Arts sector of the Institute of Art Studies within the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She also teaches at the University of Forestry in Sofia. Her main research interests include theory and history of architecture, architectural graphics, CAD and BIM, design and drawing, Bulgarian architecture, contemporary architecture, visual semiotics, theory of composition, visual and graphic communication.

    Stela Tasheva is the author of a number of publications on issues in architecture and graphic design, including one monograph.






Visual Arts / Plastic Arts