Russia Medieval Arts Part 5

In the century 14 ° the itinerant shops and the immigrant artists (for ex. Theophanes the Greek) were above all mediators of the succession of the styles of the so-called paleological renaissance. 13 ° dominated a Byzantine-Russian or ‘Grecophile’ style, and only gradually the Russian masters trained in the Byzantine workshops, among which Alipius (v.), Are particularly well known. Alpatov (Alpatov, Brunov, 1932, pp. 276-279) speaks of Russian tendencies which awakened at the end of the century. 12th in the frescoes of the church of the Savior on Neredica in Novgorod, of the masters of Novgorod and of an art of the ‘Russian primitives’. The frescoes of the Mirož monastery in Pskov are attributed to local artists (Geschichte der russischen Kunst, 1957-1959, II, p. 243), although this origin is questioned by the presence of inscriptions in Greek. In Russian art literature it is generally accepted that there has been a reception of Byzantine stylistic characters from Constantinople into the Christian East and it is therefore difficult to isolate specific Russian characters. According to Lazarev (in Geschichte der russischen Kunst, 1957-1959, I; Lazarev 1960; 1973), the Russian masters initially modified the Byzantine models from a stylistic point of view and therefore moved further and further away from them. Generally speaking of archaism, linearism, of the value assigned to surfaces, of intense colors, of clear outlines, of the preference for ornamental characters, of a clear chromatic scale rich in contrasts, of the natural individuality of Russian faces and of the representation of Russian clothes and tools. Icon painting is distinguished by a more decisive ‘russification’ than other pictorial genres, but it too starts from Byzantine models. In 988 the Grand Duke Vladimir, after his marriage to Anna, sister of the Byzantine emperor, brought some icons from Chersonese with him to Kiev; traditions from a later period make it possible to interpret the oldest Russian votive images as copies of these. Imports continued, as in the case of two icons, both kept in Moscow (Gosudarstvennaja Tretyakovskaya Gal.), that of the Virgin of Vladimir, purchased around 1130 in Constantinople, and that of St. Demetrius, which in 1197 was purchased in Salonicco. 13 ° in the activity of copying Byzantine tendencies dominated, later it is possible to identify properly Russian stylistic characters, especially as regards the Novgorod school (strongly expressive characters, effects achieved with the use of complementary colors, contrasts of warm colors and cold and pure colors), that of Pskov (red-green color) and the beginnings of the Moscow school (delicate and illusionistic manner), above all in the harmonious meditation of the image operated by Andrei Rublev at the beginning of the 15th century.

According to, the devotion of the new hermits of the century. 14 °, with their mystique of light, strengthened the pictorial research towards the possibility of describing the inner world and the individual physical aspect of man, even if the strength of tradition was preserved intact. The golden age of Russian icon painting, however, coincides only with the centuries. 14th and 15th, when substantial iconographic innovations are highlighted with the creation of a specific form of iconostasis (Déesis, cycle of Feasts and local hierarchies, Angelic Trinity, Sobor Bogomateri). The icons of the secc. 11 ° -14 ° are mainly preserved in Moscow (Gosudarstvennaja Tretjakovskaja Gal.), In St. Petersburg (Gosudarstvennyj Russkij muz.) And in Novgorod (Novgorodskij istoriko-chudožestvennyj i architekturnyj muz.). It is not known whether illuminated books already circulated in ancient times., but we can suppose the existence of a lively exchange between monumental painting, icons and thumbnail; in any case, already in the century. 11th numerous scriptoria were active in Kiev. In a first phase, models from the Balkan regions had particular importance, since most of the Paleoslavic texts were translations from Greek into Bulgarian and the ornamental and figurative decoration was often copied in the transcription. The miniatures of the Ostromir Gospels (1056-1057; Saint Petersburg, Saltykov-Ščedrin, Perg.. 31d), while in the supplementary sheets inserted in Egberto’s Psalter (1078-1087; Cividale, Mus. Archeologico Naz., CXXXVI) Constantinopolitan and Carolingian-Ottonian forms merge. °; Moscow, Gosudarstvennyj Istoritscheskij Muz., Patr. 1203) and in subsequent Novgorod manuscripts simplify, making them more crude, the models of Kiev and Constantinople. The initials have a particular shape – especially in cinnabar and in the century. 14 ° also yellow and blue – adorned with an intertwining and teratological decoration (St. Petersburg, Saltykov-Ščedrin, Duch. Akad. 3; Moscow, Gosuderstvennyj Istoritscheskij Muz., Chlud. 29; Patr. 70). Some Novgorod manuscripts, made of thin sheets of birch bark, have popular connotations (Moscow, Gosudarstvennyj Istoritscheskij Muz.). The Muscovite miniature in its beginnings, towards the end of the century. 14th (evangeliari of Koška and Chitrovo; Moscow, Gosudarstvennaja ordena Lenina bibl., M. 8654; M. 8657), he oriented himself towards the ancient ways of the Byzantine miniature of the Paleologic period and towards a local ornamental style. In the field of jewelry production, Kievan Rus’ reached a quality almost equal to the Byzantine one; as regards the goldsmithing and the working of enamel, liturgical objects have been preserved (e.g. reliquaries, pyxes, chalices, pectoral crosses) and jewels, coming from the burials of Gnezdovo near Smolensk, of Salakovo near Vitebsk, of Kamenobrod, of Chernihiv and Kiev (10th and 13th centuries; St. Petersburg, Hermitage; Moscow, Gosudarstvennyj Istoritscheskij Muz.). The fired gilding technique is well documented in the bronze doors with figured reliefs of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin of Suzdal ‘(second quarter of the 13th century) and of the Saint Sophia of Novgorod (1336). In the northern regions, between the secc. 11 ° and 13 °, the preference for silver is instead characteristic.

Russia Medieval Arts 5

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