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Rambler's Top100
Old Russian Art

   Very old Russian icons were painted using the Byzantine prototypes, in keeping with the lofty traditions of Byzantine art of the 11th-12th centuries, which lie at the foundation of the entire Christian world culture.

   Some of ancient icons were brought to Rus from Byzantium. The icons had a tendency to be narrative, "to tell a story" while treating traditional religious subjects and images. Images of Savior and Our Lady were favorite for masters of early Russian religious art. The icons depicting episodes from the saints'lives were also widespread. In the Middle Ages it was believed that the icons were the "true" portraits of saints and biblical events. Combinations of vermilion and ochre-yellow tones were frequently used to make much more impression.

   Moscow became the largest center of old Russian art. There was created the Moscow art school towards the end of the 15th-16th centuries. Moscow art golden age was linked with the activity of such prominent painters as Theophanes the Greek (originally from Byzantium), Andrei Rublev, Daniil Cherny and Dionisi. Andrei Rublev may be called the most outstanding painter of old Russia. His name was mentioned often in various historical sources, his icon-painting manner was considered to be the best just in the 15th and 16th centuries.

   During a long life of the old Russian icons they were repainted and restored by other masters. Each icon of the Middle Age had numerous renovations, and it was very difficult for modern restorers to free the original layer of oil from later overpaintings. Modern restoration techniques enable to reserve many remarkable works of ancient Rus, which are now to be seen at Moscow museums, such as the Moscow Kremlin museums, the State Tretykov Gallery, the Museum of Old Russian Art named by Andrei Rublev, the History museum and others.


Our Lady of Vladimir.
First third of the 12th century. Constantinople.
Wood, tempera, 104x69 cm.Fragment.
The State Tretyakov Gallery.
(22k)

The Meeting of the icon of "Our Lady of Vladimir".
Unknown master. Middle of the 17th century.(26k)

Andrei Rublev (ca. 1370 - 1430)
Our Lady of Vladimir.
1380s.The State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin.(26k)

Andrei Rublev (ca. 1370 - 1430)
The Trinity.
1420s.
The State Tretyakov Gallery.(25k)

Andrei Rublev (ca. 1370 - 1430)
Saviour.
About 1394. 158x106 cm.

The icon from the Zvenigorod row
(the Intercession Cathedral of Zvenigorod near Moscow).
The State Tretyakov Gallery.
(38k)

Andrei Rublev (ca. 1370 - 1430)
Archangel Michael.
About 1394. 158x108 cm.

The icon from the Zvenigorod row
(the Intercession Cathedral of Zvenigorod near Moscow).
The State Tretyakov Gallery.
(22k)

Daniil Cherny
Apostle Pavel.
About 1394. 160x109.

The icon from the Zvenigorod row
(the Intercession Cathedral of Zvenigorod near Moscow).
The State Tretyakov Gallery.
(26k)

Daniil Cherny
The Christ's Nativity.
1410-1415s. 71x53 cm.
The State Tretyakov Gallery.
(25k)

Simon Ushakov
Archangel Michael. 1676 s.
The State Tretyakov Gallery.
(22k)

Simon Ushakov
Our Lady of Vladimir
Genealogical Tree of Moscow State.
1668 s.Wood, tempera. 105x62 cm.
The State Tretyakov Gallery.
(24k)

Simon Ushakov
Our Lady of Vladimir
Genealogical Tree of Moscow State.
1668 s. Fragment.
Wood, tempera. 105x62 cm.
The State Tretyakov Gallery.
(25k)

Unknown master
St. Basil the Blessed.
The first half of the 18th century.(37k)
Rambler's Top100

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