Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title Contacts and Opposition between Russian and European Art in the 16th Century: Some Observations.
Author email
About author Smirnova, Engelina Sergeevna — full doctor, professor. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991 Moscow, Russian Federation.
In the section Old Russian Art DOI10.18688/aa166-3-25
Year 2016 Volume 6 Pages 242251
Type of article RAR Index UDK 75.046; 75.03; 7.046.3 Index BBK 85.14

The peculiar interpretation of West-European motifs in Russian culture can be traced centuries back, mainly in architecture, decoration of church façades, decorative arts, and ornamentation of manuscripts. The reflection of West-European motifs in Russian painting of the 16th century can be seen in the drawings of “Gothic” buildings on the background of compositions, and, sometimes, in the stylistic elements (contours of the figures and representation of postures and movements).The other side of the Russian-European contacts in the 16th century is associated with the struggle of Moscow Rus’ against the negation of truth of sacred images, i.e. against the idea which was one of the characteristic features of Protestantism. The pictures of Christ on the Mandylion or on the Keramion in Russian art are accompanied by the inscriptions “Image of Savior”, sometimes with addition “Not Made by Hand”. There are scenes in the Virgin’s iconography representing the evangelist Luke painting her image (sometimes in presence of the Mother of God herself) with the aid of an angel symbolizing the Divine Wisdom. As for the saints, the truth and variety of their miracles are underlined by their images. These ideas are most intensively realized in the iconography of Saint Nicholas of Myra. Russian icon painters represent Christ and the Virgin giving Saint Nicholas the book of Gospels and omophorion (the attributes of his bishop’s dignity), while the angels are helping him to realize his acts.

Reference Engelina Smirnova. Contacts and Opposition between Russian and European Art in the 16th Century: Some Observations.. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 6. Eds: Anna V. Zakharova, Svetlana V. Maltseva, Ekaterina Yu. Stanyukovich-Denisova. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2016, pp. 242–251. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
  • Antonova V. I.; Mnyova N. E. Katalog drevnerusskoi zhivopisi, Gosudarstvennaia Tretyakovskaia galereia (The Catalogue of the Russian Medieval Painting, State Tretyakov Gallery), vol. 2. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1963. 570 p. (in Russian).
  • Barber T.; Boldrick S. (eds.) Art under Attack. Histories of British Iconoclasm. London, Tate Publ., 2013. 179 p.
  • Batalov A. L. European Architects and Military Experts in Ivan the Fourth’s Service in the Light of the Written Sources. Materialy i issledovaniia Gosudarstvennyh muzeev Moskovskogo Kremlia (Materials and Studies of the State Museums of Moscow Kremlin), vol. 22. Moscow, 2014, pp. 8–32 (in Russian).
  • Batalov A. L. Ornamentation of the Renaissance in the Architecture of the Epoch of the Ivan the Terrible. Moskovskii Kreml’ XVI stoletiia. Drevnie sviatyni i isroricheskie pamiatniki (Moscow Kremlin in the 16th Century. Ancient Relics and Historical Monuments). Moscow, Buksmart Publ., 2015, pp. 219–236 (in Russian).
  • Batalov A. L.; Beliaev L. A. Cerkov’ Vozneseniia v Kolomenskom, Arkhitektura, arkheologija, istorija (The Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoe. Architecture, Archaeology and History). Moscow, 2013. 203 p. (in Russian).
  • Bischoff C. Meisterwerke der Gemäldegalerie (Kurzführer durch das Kunsthistorische Museum, Bd. 5). Wien, Skira Publ., 2006. 84 p. (in German).
  • Bulkin V. A. On the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoe. Kul’tura srednevekovoi Rusi. Posviashchaetsia 70-letiyu M. K. Kargera (The Culture of the Medieval Rus’. To the 70th Anniversaire of M. K. Karger). Leningrad, Nauka Publ., 1974, pp. 113–115 (in Russian).
  • Bulkin V. A. O drevnerusskoj architecture. Izbrannye trudy (On the Russian Medieval Architecture. Selected Studies). Saint-Petersburg, 2012. 199 p. (in Russian).
  • Dmitriev Yu. N. “Stroganovskaja shkola” zhivopisi (The “Stroganov School” of Painting). Istorija russkogo iskusstva (History of Russian Art), vol. 3. Moscow, Academy of sciences USSR Publ., 1955, pp. 643–676 (in Russian).
  • Evseeva L.; Lidov A.; Chugreeva N. (eds.) Spas Nerukotvornyi v russkoi ikone (The Holy Face in Russian Icons). Moscow, Moscow manuals and cartolithography Publ., 2005. 439 p. (in Russian).
  • Gladysheva E. V.; Nersesian L. V.; Preobrazhenskii A. S. (eds.) Ikony Velikogo Novgoroda XI – nachala XVI veka (Icons of Novgorod the Great. 11th – Beginning of the 16th Century). Moscow, Severnyi palomnik Publ., 2008. 550 p. (in Russian).
  • Ioannisian O. M. The Architecture of the First Half – the Middle of the 12th Century. Istorija russkogo iskusstva (History of Russian Art.), vol. 2/1. Moscow, 2012, pp. 30–157 (in Russian).
  • Komashko N. I.; Katkova C. C. (eds.) Kostromskaia ikona XIII–XIX vekov (The Icons of Kostroma. 13th– 19th Centuries). Moscow, Grand-Holding Publ., 2004. 671 p. (in Russian).
  • Kvlividze N. V. Frescoes of the Smolensk Cathedral. Iconographic Program. Moskovskii Novodevichii monastyr’. K 500-letiju osnovanija (The Novodevichij Cloister at Moscow. To the 500th Anniversary of the Foundation). Moscow, Artkitchen Publ., 2012, pp. 336–385 (in Russian).
  • Kvlividze N. V. European Iconographic Sources of the “Quadripartite” Icon from the Announciation Cathedral. Lazarevskie chteniia (Lazarev’s Readings), 2008. Moscow, Moscow University Publ., 2008, pp. 175– 190 (in Russian).
  • Kyriakoudis E. N.; Minos N.; Nikonanos N.; Tavlakis I.; Mavropoulou-Tsioumi Chr.; Chryssochoïdis K. The Holy Xenophontos Monastery. The Icons. Mount Athos, 1999. 302 p.
  • Lazarev V. N. The Art of Medieval Rus’ and Occident. 11th–15th Centuries. Vizantujskoe i drevnerusskoe iskusstvo. Stat’i i imaterialy (The Art of the Medieval Rus’. Articles and Materials). Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1978, pp. 306–308 (in Russian).
  • Lazarev V. N. Notes on the Methodology of the Study of Russian Medieval Art. Vizantiiskoe i drevnerusskoe iskusstvo. Stat’i i materialy (Byzantine and Old Russian Art. Articles and Materials). Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1978, pp. 306–308 (in Russian).
  • Lifshits L. I. White-stone Reliefs on the North-East Rus’. Istoriia russkogo iskusstva (History of Russian Art), vol. 2/2. Moscow, State Institute of Art Studies, 2015, pp. 356–431 (in Russian).
  • Makarij, archimandrit (Miroliubov). Archeologocheskoe opisanie tserkovnyh drevnostei v Novgorode i ego okrestnostiah (Archaeological Description of the Ecclesiastical Antiquities in Novgorod and its environs), vol 2. Moscow, Typography M. Gautier Publ., 1860. 358+LIX pp. (in Russian).
  • Makhan’ko M. Pochitanie i sobiranie drevnih ikon v istorii i culture Moskovskoi Rusi XVI veka (Worship and Collecting of the Ancient Icons in the History and Culture of the Moscow Rus’ of the 16th Century). Moscow, Buksmart Publ., 2015. 351 p. (in Russian).
  • Manukyan A. M. On the Origin of the Chrysography Technique and Constructional Principles of “Golden” Church Doors in Pre-Mongol Rus’. Arte medievale, IV serie, Anno I. Roma, 2010–2011, pp. 61–78 (in Russian).
  • Marks R. Image and Devotion in Late Medieval England. Glochestershire, Sutton Рubl., 2004. 344 р.
  • Nevolin Yu. A. Influence of the Idea “Moscow — the Third Rome” on the Traditions of the Russian Figurative Art. Iskusstvo christianskogo mira (Art of Christian World), vol. 1. Moscow, 1996, pp. 71–84 (in Russian). Orlova M. A. Ornament and Other Decorative Elements in Painting of the 1120s –1160s. Istorija russkogo iskusstva (History of Russian Art), vol. 2/1. Moscow, State Institute of Art Studies Publ., 2012, pp. 337–411 (in Russian).
  • Pod’japol’skij S. S. Arhitektor Petrok Maloi. Pamiatniki russkoi architektury i monumental’nogo iskusstva (Works of Russian Architecture and Monumental Arts). Moscow, 1983, pp. 34–50 (in Russian).
  • Rodnikova I. S. (ed.) Pskov Icons of the 13th–16th Centuries. Leningrad, Avrora Publ., 1990. 323 p. (in Russian).
  • Sarabianov V. D. Painting of the 1120s–1160s. Istorija russkogo iskusstva (History of Russian Art), vol 2/1.Moscow, State Institute of Art Studies Publ., 2012, pp. 286–330 (in Russian).
  • Shalina I. A. The Hagiographical Scenes of the Icon of Saint George from the State Russian Museum Collection and the Novgorod Painting of the Second Quarter of the 16th Century. Iskusstvo khristianskogo mira (Art of Christian World), vol. 11. Moscow, 2009, pp. 336–358 (in Russian).
  • Shalina I. (ed.) Sluzhenie krasote. Drevnerusskoe i narodnoe iskusstvo iz sobraniia Vorobjovykh. Katalog vystavki (Service to the Beauty. Exhibition Catalogue). Moscow, the Museum of Russian Icon Publ., 2015. 431 p. (in Russian).
  • Smirnova E. S. Iskusstvo knigi v Srednevekovoi Rusi. Litsevye rukopisi Velikogo Novgoroda. XV vek (The Manuscript Illumination in Medieval Russia. The Illuminated Manuscripts in Novgorod the Great. Fifteenth Century). Moscow, Severnyi palomnik Publ., 2011. 559 p. (in Russian).
  • Smirnova E. S. Some Features of the Russian Iconography in the 16th Century: the Polemic with the Heresy of Luther? ΣΥΜΜΕΙΚΤΑ. Zbornik radova povodom cetrdecet godina Institutu za istotiju umetnosti Folozofskog fakulteta Univerziteta u Beogradu. Beograd, 2012, pp. 397–405 (in Russian).
  • Smirnova E. S. Some Peculiar Features of Russian Sixteenth Century Cultural Life: A Case Study of Possible Polemics with the “Lutheran Heresy”. Evropeiskoe Vozrozhdenie i russkaia kultura XV – serediny XVII veka: kontakty i vzaimnoe vospriiatie (European Renaissance and Russian Culture of the 15th – Middle of the 17th Centuries). Moscow, Political Encyclopedia Publ., 2013, pp. 295–307 (in Russian).
  • Smirnova E. S. Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker with Angels and Miracles. A New Image of Saint Nicholas of Myra in Russian Art of the 16th Century (Icon from a Private Collection in London). Journal of Icon Studies (Museum of Russian Icons), vol. 1. Clinton (MA), 2015, pp. 1–21 (in Russian).
  • Smirnova E. S. “Smotria na obraz drevnih zhivopistsev...”. Tema pochitaniia ikon v iskusstve Srednevekovoi Rusi (“Looking at the Image Painted by the Ancient Artists...”. Icon Veneration in the Art of Medieval Russia). Moscow, Severnyi palomnik Publ., 2007. 382 p. (in Russian).
  • Sterligova I. A. (ed.) Dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo Velikogo Novgoroda. Khudozhestvennyi metal. XI– XV veka (The Applied Arts of Novgorod the Great: The Metalwork, 11th–15th Centuries). Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1996. 513 p. (in Russian).
  • Tihomirov M. N.; Sidorov A. A.; Nazarov A. I. (eds.) U istokov russkogo knigopechataniia (On the Early Period of Russian Book-printing). Moscow, Academy of sciences of USSR Publ., 1959. 266 p. (in Russian).
  • Vasil’eva O. A. Ikony Pskova (Icons of Pskov). Moscow, Severnyi palomnik Publ., 2006. 511 p. (in Russian).