Russia Medieval Arts Part 1

Vast region of Eastern Europe extending from the Pontic-Baltic isthmus to the Ural Mountains. From the political point of view, the term designates the consolidated state starting from the century. 16 ° around the principality of Moscow, with a process of progressive incorporation of lands that lasted until the century. 19 °, which led the Russian Empire (and the current Russia) to extend throughout the territory between the Baltic Sea to the West and the Bering Strait to the E. Vistula and Dnepr rivers settled to the East, in the vast area of ​​woods, steppes and lakes between Novgorod (see Novgorod and Pskov) and Kiev (see), drawing resources from the exploitation of fields and forests, as well as from rudimentary forms of iron foundry, ceramic production and weaving. By the rivers and lakes, connected to each other and constituting a grandiose natural road network (the so-called road from the Varangians to the Greeks), fortified noble residences and urban settlements soon arose. In the North, the houses were built according to the horizontal beam construction system (Blockhaus), while in the Dnieper area the Grubenhaus (‘hut with hollowed bottom’) was customary. Very important were the art of construction and wood carving, which also characterized the places of worship. At the end of the century 9 ° we can speak of an Eastern-Slavic linguistic and cultural koinè.

According to, the Slavic term Rus’, from which the term Russia derives, documented since the end of the century. 17 °, was initially referred to the residents of the region and subsequently passed to indicate the entire territory and the early medieval state. The first capital became, by virtue of its favorable strategic position on the Dnieper, Kiev, ‘mother of Russian cities’ and a place of trade; Kievan Rus’ was called the kingdom which, from the end of the century. 9th at the beginning of the 13th, it united the East Slavic tribes from the coast of the Baltic Sea to the lower course of the Dnieper, from the Carpathians to the northern Dvina and the Volga. The Christian faith penetrated it even before its official acceptance, which took place in 988, through the Byzantine region of Chersonese (od. Crimea), through the settlements of Greek monks in the caves of the southern Russia and thanks to the attempts of evangelization by the patriarch of Constantinople, documented starting from 860. The swearing by Christians of Prince Igor’s entourage in the church dedicated to the prophet Elijah in Kiev dates back to 944-945; Grand Duchess Olga was baptized in Constantinople in 955-957. In general, modern historiography conventionally defines ancient-Russian or medieval Russia as the period between the end of the century. 10th and 17th, i.e. between the acceptance of Christianity as a state religion under the Grand Duke of Kiev, Vladimir I (980-1015), and the reforms of Tsar Peter I the Great (1682-1725). The monuments and works of art that were created at that time are precisely defined as ‘anti-Russian’. This great period is generally divided into long periods: the pre-Mongolian period (characterized by the life of Kievan Rus’, its dismemberment and its decline with the Mongol-Tatar invasion of the mid-13th century); period of the fragmentation of the Russian states under the Tatar dominion (up to the 14th – 15th centuries); phase of birth and consolidation of the Grand Duchy of Moscow (starting from the middle of the 14th century); epoch of the strengthening of the central power of Moscow, with the establishment of state unity, the beginning of the autocracy and the formation of the empire of the tsars (from the middle of the 15th century to the end of the 16th); finally, the so-called era of the disorders, marked by a phase of ‘Europeanization’ and reforms (17th century). of the state of ancient Russia ‘ (Kievan Rus ‘) and’ the art of the central Russian state ‘: that of the’ disintegration of feudalism ‘- that is to say the art of the period of the fall of Kievan Rus’, from the beginning of the century. 12th to the middle of the 13th – and that of the art of the time of the Tartar domination, from the middle of the century. 13th to the middle of the 15th (Geschichte der russischen Kunst, 1957-1959; Geschichte der russischen Kunst, 1975). 15 ° in regional styles: style of Kiev, style of the principalities of the Western Russia (Galič, Smolensk, Polock), style of Rus’ of Rostov and Vladimir-Suzdal ‘, of Novgorod and Pskov, of Tver’ and Moscow. Moreover, the artistic genres are attributed autonomous stylistic characteristics and evolution, often linked to particular typologies: eg. Halle (1929) identified a ‘Russian Romanesque’ in architecture and Brunov a specific ‘Protomoscovite’ style (Alpatov, Brunov, 1932, pp. 79-92). However, it remains undisputed that in all genres of painting up to the middle of the century 13th dominated a Russian-Byzantine style and that even later the style was influenced by Byzantine traveling artists. The peculiar character of Russian art was most evidently expressed in religious architecture and icon painting. There are differing opinions on whether or not it is possible to distinguish between different schools of icon painting, those of Novgorod, Yaroslav, Northern Russia and Moscow. At the end of the century 15 ° an imperial-tsarist style was imposed, with a unitary character, which in part absorbed the regional stylistic characteristics, in part reduced them to a minimum, thus allowing them to survive.

Russia Medieval Arts 1

About the author