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Question About a Medival Serbian Fresco and the Renaissance

Hey guys,

I don't come from an art-related educational background but some of my Art major friends have been convincing me that a specific fresco from Serbia should be (or already is (the way art history is taught in Serbia)) considered to be the first example of early Renaissance painting in Europe.

The fresco in question is from the Sopocani monastery and the name of the fresco is “Успење Богородице” roughly translated to “Rise of the Madona” (don't take my word on the exact translation).

It was painted in the mid-XII century.

The reason why I'm asking is I'd like to know if this claim is due to the fact that I'd like to know if I'm being fed a bit of the ol' pro-Serbia, we're-the-best type of propaganda or if there is some merit to this story.

Thanks in advance.

Here are a few photos:

Not really relevant to the question but I thought some of you might enjoy this detail from the same monastery. 🙂