Russia Medieval Arts Part 4

The massive construction of the load-bearing and dividing walls is connected to the structure of the free, wall and corner pillars. Vertically the shapes of the bodies rise ‘in steps’ towards the drum of the central dome, where the vaults, which support each other, lighten the support structure. The compactness of the volumes is matched by the unitary character of the facade and simplicity in the external decoration: decorative richness is found only in the Russian Romanesque of Vladimir-Suzdal ‘. Generally the external walls appear articulated in three or four sections by pilasters in relief or by pillars leaning against the wall itself that exceed the fascia of the tympanum, the decoration is limited to a series of splayed openings and niches with semicircular termination – according to the Constantinopolitan model -, friezes with arches, denticles and brick ornaments. 14 ° of a cultural flourishing that came from the awareness of being a free city. At that time, under the leadership of Moscow, a national sentiment grew in the central Russia renewal of pre-Mongolian traditions. The ferment that at the turn of the century 14 ° interested both the Byzantine art and that of the Western world also reached Russia. A new pictorial sense of forms freed itself from monumental linearity: the style of the ecclesiastical buildings was subjected to a process of dynamization and ornamentation. The bourgeoisie of Novgorod, interested in their own representation, commissioned the pictorial decoration of the scenery-walls and the chapels of the founders placed at the corners of the stands (church of St. Theodore Stratilate, 1360-1361; church of the Transfiguration of Christ in the street of Elia, with frescoes from 1378). The architectural activity in the central Russia concentrated above all on the restoration of ancient ruined churches of the pre-Mongolian era. of plastic decoration and thus showed in the external appearance of the architecture a new pictorial trend; this is evident in the churches of the Protomoscovite monasteries of the turn of the century. 15 ° that have been preserved. The architectural body became dynamic: it rose above a high plinth with free stairs, portals with columns and terraces; the ship’s keel arch was the basic decorative form, while the pyramid-shaped tympanum constituted the upper conclusion.

According to, the external aspect, however, does not coincide with the structure of the internal space, which, thanks to the tiered vaults and the slits in the windows, acquires the character of a cave, by analogy with the symbolism of the cave of Christ’s birth and tomb in the liturgy of these monasteries. With the consolidation of the principality of Moscow as a central power and with the construction of the Kremlin, In the second half of the century. 15 °, with the new works that drew vitality from the Tsarist court, from the military nobility and from the Josephan monasticism, a unitary Russian imperial style was therefore established, characterized by a national historicism, but which also incorporated Western stylistic forms of the Renaissance, and then of Mannerism and the Baroque. The Byzantine cult of images found fertile ground in Russia, both in the strategy of the sovereigns and in popular devotion. Sometimes, however, the distinction of the Neoplatonic theology of images between the sacred invisible model and its material representation was not accepted. The Russians, in whose ‘double faith’ magical-pagan traditions and divinities (Perun, Mother Earth) continued to survive, expected protection and help directly from the images. While in the Byzantine conception in a miracle produced by an icon it was the saint himself who manifested himself through the image, in the Russian conception it was the icon itself that moved in space. In Russia it was considered sacrilege to burn damaged icons, which were instead to be buried as dead. The political use of Christian iconography represented a constant in the commissions of the sovereigns, in particular in the interpretation of the iconography of the Virgin (Dormitio, Madonna della Misericordia) and in the portraits of the founders, for example. in the frescoes with the depiction of Jaroslav together with his family in the Hagia Sophia in Kiev (1046), the miniatures of the princes of Kiev in the Kiev codices (Moscow, Gosudarstvennyj Istoritscheskij Muz., Patr. 31d, scrolls added after c. 263), the relief of Vsevolod III with his children on the facade of the cathedral of St. Demetrius in Vladimir (1193-1197). Most frequently the prince’s homonymous saint and national saints are represented, especially Boris and Glĕb. The opposition of the Novgorod oligarchy to Moscow (1460-1470) was expressed in the theme of the struggle of the citizens of Suzdal with Novgorod (Novgorod, Novgorodskij istoriko-chudožestvennyj i architekturnyi Muz.; Moscow, Gosudarstvennaja Tretyakovskaja Gal.). The first buildings of Kiev were decorated with mosaics and frescoes from the workshops of Byzantine masters. The mosaics have been placed in stylistic relationship with the Greek ones of Hosios Lukas, Chios and Dafni, the frescoes with those of the Hagia Sophia of Ochrida and with fragments preserved in Thessaloniki. From an iconographic point of view, it strikes in the area of altar the multiplication of liturgical motifs (Communion of the Apostles, Episcopal Hierarchies, Christ the High Priest, Déesis), while on the western side, starting from the century. 12th, a large representation of the Last Judgment made its appearance (Trinity church in the monastery of St. Cyril in Kiev; Church of the Savior on the Neredica in Novgorod) and we are witnessing a first penetration of motifs from the Passion. Also in the following period the Greek masters were hired above all for commissions in the field of monumental painting; Furthermore, numerous formal syntheses of oriental abstraction and antiquing illusionism have been identified, traced back to impulses coming from Constantinople, Thessaloniki, Mount Athos, the Balkans, Asia Minor and the Caucasus. 12th there are links with Byzantine art of the Comnenian period (Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Christ in the Mirož Monastery in Pskov, third quarter of the 12th century; St. Demetrius in Vladimir, end of the 12th century).

Russia Medieval Arts 4

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