Acad. Cvetan Grozdanov was born on 5th of March 1936 in Ohrid. Even as a student in high school “Kliment Ohridski” in Ohrid during the summer months he was involved in the work of conservation team to clean the frescoes in the Cathedral “St. Sofia “in Ohrid. He studied at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, History of Art, where he graduated in 1961. His graduate thesis “Newly discovered medieval portraits in Ohrid” the examining commission evaluated with the highest assessment and proposed for publication (Collection of Fine Arts, no. 2, Novi Sad).
After graduating Acad. Cvetan Grozdanov as a scholar of the Government of SRM was on specialization study in medieval and byzantine art at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade at Acad. prof. S. Radojcic and prof. C. J. Djuric. After military service he worked as a curator at the National Museum in Ohrid. Then he has begun with the systematic collection of documentation for medieval painting in Macedonia and works on the topography of sacred monuments in southwestern Macedonia, especially in Struga, Debar and Prespa.
In the academic year of 1966/67 he used the scholarship of the French government and was at the training for History of Byzantine art at prof. A. Grabar in the College de France in Paris. In 1966 he was one of the organizers of the monumental exhibition “Slavic literacy 1050 years after the death of Clement”. In 1969 he was elected as assistant professor of Art History at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje. At the faculty in Belgrade he defended his doctoral dissertation “Ohrid wall paintings from the 14th century“. In 1980 he was elected as an associate and in 1985 as a full professor at the same university.
Apart from the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje Acad. Grozdanov taught Medieval Art at the School of Fine Arts. He had more duties and functions in social bodies in the field of science and culture, as well as the University. Acad. Grozdanov was culture minister in the first government of the Republic of Macedonia chosen by pluralistic Parliament and in the period of proclaiming independence (1991/92).
In the past three decades Acad. Cvetan Grozdanov pursued an intense research. He participated at numerous conferences in the country and abroad, his works have been published in scientific collections in Skopje, Belgrade, Zagreb and others, held lectures on medieval art in several cities in Yugoslavia, at the Kolarcev National University and the Cultural Center in Belgrade, culture centers in Zagreb, Split, Mostar, Subotica and others. With lectures he participated in Paris (UNESCO) at the Academy of Science in Prague, universities in Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Rome, Naples, Sofia. On the XVIII International Congress of Byzantinists in Moscow was entrusted with opening speech at the roundtable “Yugoslav saints in the Orthodox iconography”.
Acad. Cvetan Grozdanov has authored more than 300 bibliographic units in Macedonian and other languages in domestic and foreign professional and scientific journals. He has found many medieval ensembles of frescoes Macedonia and has identified several historical figures represented in the old art in the Balkans. In the overall work of Acad. Cvetan Grozdanov is present the interest to delve into Byzantine-Slavic cultural ties, especially in art, ranging from Ss. Cyril and Methodius and St. Clement of Ohrid until the XIX century. The scientific activity of Acad. Grozdanov mostly encompasses the study of frescoes from the Middle (9-14 century and late Middle Ages 15-18 century) in Macedonia and neighboring Balkan centers. His work is largely based on field studies that he has performed in several Balkan regions, primarily in Macedonia and Athos. His declarations are always accompanied by a detailed scientific equipment and knowledge of the latest results and findings of byzantine art in the world. Chronological span of the matter that he studies is very broad and includes monuments from the time of St. Clement, Samuel’s state, the Ohrid Archbishopric to the time of rebirth. Research thematic material covers several areas. Most of his work relates to the discovery, identification and teaching of portraits of St. Cyril and Methodius and their students – St. Clement St. Naum St. Gorazd, St. Sava, St. Angelarij (known as Sedmochislenitsi). In this broad thematic block prof. Grozdanov also studies the portraits of all the saints who have primary or basic cult among Macedonian Slavs until the late 18th century. A separate section is his synthesis of Ohrid fresco painting of the 14th century. No less important are his discoveries of unknown or little-known monuments of medieval art, as well as studies on other monuments of central and southwestern Macedonia.
For his scientific activity Acad. Grozdanov has received many awards (“11th of October”, “13th of November” Award of the City of Skopje, “13th November” – Award of the City of Ohrid, etc.) and medals (in 1975. In celebration of 150 years of its establishment Matica Srpska awarded him with a silver medal for his cooperation in the Yearbook – Collection of Fine Arts, Novi Sad, then order “Sts. Vladimir the Great” for research of the art ties between Russia and Macedonia by the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988 and Blue ribbon at VI. Congress of Balkanology and Southeast Europe). For the monograph “St. Naum Ohridski” Academician Cvetan Grozdanov was awarded with the highest award for science in the Republic of Macedonia “Gotse Delchev” (1996). Association of Intellectuals “Spiritual Shelters” of Macedonia in 2005 awarded him with the prize “Vella Kutija” for the book “The Art of Western Macedonia in XIX century” (2005). Ukrainian Academy of Sciences has awarded academician Cvetan Grozdanov with its award “Golden Fortune”. Academician Grozdanov has been awarded by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences with the highest honors (medal) “Marin Drinov”. In 2003 he was awarded with the Medal of the National Institute for Strategic Research of the Republic of Turkey and in 2005 was elected as a member of the Association of European intellectuals.
In 2003 he was elected as a foreign member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and in 2007 as a corresponding member of the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2004 he was promoted to doctor honoris causa historicae scientiae (honorary doctor of historical sciences) at the University “Ss. Kliment Ohridski “in Sofia, Bulgaria, and that year he was promoted as the doctor honoris causa (honorary doctorate) of the University “Taras Shevchenko” in Kiev, Ukraine.
As a Corresponding member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts he was elected on 7th of May 1991, and as a Full member was elected on 20th of June 1996. In the period from 2004 to 2007 he was president of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts.