The Pavilion of Icons at the National Historical Museum was established in 1999 in collaboration with the Institute of Cultural Monuments. The collections contains several items, like icons of post-byzantine period and objects like as one iconostasis, one proskynetarion and pairs of royal doors, originated from different churches of Albania and dating back to the 16th century till the early of 19th century.
After the fall of Constantinople (Byzantine Empire) in 1453, the Balkans separated from the influences of Byzantine art school and started introducing new artistic elements on their iconographic art. The iconographer artists were influenced by the art of the West, mainly from the early Italian Renaissance and the school of Cretan Venetian art.
The most outstanding iconographer of the Post-Byzantine art in Albania was the iconographer Onufri, active as painter of icons and frescoes in many churches during the XVI century. Along with his son Nikola and the iconographer Onufër Qiprioti founded the most important atelier of iconography in the city of Berat. This atelier influenced on the art of many subsequent iconographers.
There is exposed one icon from Onufri like the “Entry of Saint Mary into the Temple”, originating from the iconostasis of the Church of Evangelism in Berat and also some icons from Onufër Qiprioti (XVI-XVII century), like as “Christ Pantocrator”, “St. Mary with Christ”, “Dormition of the Virgin Mary,” “Baptism of Christ” etc.
Part of the collections of icons of the 18 -19th century belong to the authors as: Konstandin Jeromonahu, Kostandin Shpataraku, David Selenica , works by iconographers painters the brothers Zografi, Konstandin and Athanas and the brothers Çetiri (Katro ). In front of the pavilion it is exposed an iconostasis of 18-19th worked by the master of the woodcarving, Dhimitër Koleci. This iconostasis origins from the church of the monastery of St. John Vladimir in Elbasan. There are exposed also a series of icons from the iconographer Mihal Anagnosti, one icon from Joan Athanasi and one from Konstandin Jeromonahu.
On the second floor of the pavilion there are mainly icons of anonymous iconographers and also icons from Mihal Anagnosti, Konstandin Jeromonahu and royal doors from different churches. In the center of the pavilion it is exsposed a proskynetarion (XVIII century ), carved in wood, from the church of “St. Peter and St. Paul” in Vithkuq, Korca.