Icons as historical monuments. Icons of princely times

Icons as historical monuments. Icons of princely times

1. What are icons and what do historians learn about them?

The word “icon” of Greek origin. Icons Call the images of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, saints, the events of the Holy Letter, executed according to certain rules, most often on cypress boards. The icons are also the corresponding murals on the walls of temples, and mosaics, and drawings on the pages of manuscripts, carvings on stone or wood, etc. The rules by which icons were created are called canons. They were strictly adhered to, without changing. This is one of the main differences of the icon from the picture.

In princely times, the Christian church took care of spiritual life. It was during the churches and monasteries that schools and libraries arose, where books were rewritten, chroniclers, artists

worked. Therefore, it is not surprising that the then monuments of content and purpose were for the most part ecclesiastical. To the fullest extent, this also applies to painting – then they did not paint such familiar paintings as, for example, a landscape or a portrait.

Made of short-lived material, the icons died in fires, during wars, floods; lost during the journeys, spoiled by excess moisture or too bright light. Therefore, when in 2000 a new exhibit appeared in the Volyn Regional Museum in Lutsk, the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God of the 12th century, this event acquired the importance of a scientific discovery. A unique rarity is called the Kholm icon, because its fate is connected with the ancient city of Kholm, founded by the Galician-Volhynian prince Danila Romanovich. The icon adorned the local Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin, left the city, but each time returned back. It is clear that to this day the icon has come very damaged, therefore it requires a responsible and painstaking work of restorers.

2. What is known about the icons of princely times?

The first icons were brought to Kievan Rus from Byzantium, but few of these icons survived. Honored in Russia was the icon of the Virgin Mary of Vyshgorod. She was brought in the middle of the 12th century. from Constantinople.

It adorned the church of Saints Boris and Gleb in Vyshgorod, from where Prince Andrew Bogolyubsky in 1155 brought her to the city of Vladimir-on-Klyazma. For centuries, the Vyshgorod icon of the Virgin is considered a national shrine of the Orthodox.

Soon after the introduction of Christianity, local centers of iconography began to appear on our lands. They created icons in icon-painting workshops in monasteries. They acted in Kiev, Chernigov, Galich, and others. The sources preserved information about one of the very first icon painters of Rus, the Kiev master of Alipia. His name is associated with the beginning of the glorious painting school of the Kiev-Pechersky Monastery. The oldest known, created in this icon-painting studio, is the icon of Our Lady of the Caves with the saints Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves. According to the latest research, it was created in the early 12th century. Currently, the icon is kept in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

The most outstanding monument of the iconography of princely Ukraine is the icon of the Virgin from the Assumption Church in Dorogobuzh, which is in Volhynia. Scientists have found it very recently – in the mid-80s of the 20th century. Returned from oblivion by painstaking labor of restorers, this icon is kept in the Rivne Local History Museum.


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Icons as historical monuments. Icons of princely times