Exhibition "View from the twentieth century. Old Russian temple painting in copies of Soviet artists" Automatic translate
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Галерея искусств Зураба Церетели
ул. Пречистенка, 19
An exhibition from the funds of the Andrei Rublev Museum in the halls of the Museum and Exhibition Complex of the Russian Academy of Arts is devoted to the topic of copying outstanding ancient Russian temple paintings in the 1920s – 1980s. The exhibition presents copies of the murals of the most famous monuments of ancient Russian monumental painting: from the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev to the murals of the famous master Dionysius in the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin of the Ferapontov Monastery. Some of the originals have not survived to this day, which makes copies made from them especially valuable.
The exposition includes about seventy works by ten artists. For some of them, such as N.I. Tolmachevskaya, M.V. Lomakina, N.V. Gusev, copying ancient painting has become a lifelong affair. Others - S. S. Churakov, A. P. Grekov, G. Z. Bykova, A. I. Marampolsky, A. N. Ovchinnikov - are known primarily as researchers and restorers of monuments of ancient Russian art. Their works not only document ancient murals, but also reflect the view of a person of that era on them, demonstrate different approaches to copying.
For centuries, copying has served as an important way of mastering the skills of the artist’s profession: the student, copying the work of the master, learned the basics of the craft. Since the 17th century in Western Europe, the copying of generally recognized masterpieces has been part of the process of artistic education. He was engaged not only by students, but also by professional artists, studying the painting techniques of their great predecessors.
In Russia, the school of copying works of fine art began to take shape with the opening of the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg (1757) and, according to the European system of art education, became one of the methods of teaching future painters. At the same time, in scientific circles, the idea arose of a careful reproduction of Russian antiquities proper, primarily of temple paintings. Thus, MV Lomonosov pointed out the need for "the images of the state in the churches with icon-painting and fresco work… to make exact copies of size and likeness, on paper with water paints…". He also formulated the task of preserving ancient images for Russian history through copies. A noticeable impulse for its development for posterity: "… to take away faces and memory from eating time…". As conceived by the scientist,copies would also help to acquaint residents of other states with Russian antiquities.
Copying of ancient Russian painting acquired a purposeful character much later, at the end of the 1820s, when an interest arose in the society in the publications of the academician of painting FG Solntsev, devoted to Russian antiquities and including hundreds of chromolithographs with their exact reproduction. The end of the 19th century was marked by the appearance among artists of the first enthusiasts for copying Old Russian murals.
In the 20th century, the copying of medieval monumental painting began to fulfill scientific research tasks as well. The concept of scientific copying arose, and its method was developed in the 1920s by the artist L. A. Durnovo, who founded a special school in Leningrad. By the beginning of the 1940s, her numerous students and followers completed a huge complex of works, depicting the monuments of ancient monumental painting in Kiev, Chernigov, Yaroslavl, Staraya Ladoga, Kirillo-Belozersky and Ferapontov monasteries, Novgorod churches. Among the latter are the churches of the Savior on Nereditsa (1199) and the Church of the Assumption on Volotovoe Pole (1363–1380), destroyed during the Great Patriotic War.
Artists-copyists of the Soviet period successfully copied both individual compositions and whole temple ensembles of monumental painting. First of all, these were the famous paintings created by the great painters Theophanes the Greek in the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior on Ilyin Street in Novgorod (1378), Andrei Rublev and Daniel in the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir (1408), Dionysius in the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God in the Ferapont Monastery (1502), which over the years were consistently copied by N.V. Gusev. The artist-restorer A.N. Ovchinnikov made a corpus of copies of the murals of the St. George Church in Staraya Ladoga (last quarter of the 12th century) and the Assumption of the Virgin in the village of Meletovo near Pskov (1465).
Many of the copies created during the Soviet era acquired the meaning of originals, since the original painting has undergone changes and losses over the years. Thus, the task of preserving the ancient cultural heritage of Russia, set by M.V. Lomonosov, was realized by artists who possessed the perseverance of a researcher and the knowledge of a restorer.
Copies of Old Russian murals kept in the collection of the Andrei Rublev Museum make it possible to collect in a single exhibition space the most geographically separated outstanding monuments of ancient Russian monumental painting.
The exhibition will also show a film about the restoration by the artist and restorer A.P. Grekov of the murals of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior on Kovalevo, destroyed during the Great Patriotic War. A complete catalog has been prepared for the exhibition.
The curators of the exhibition are Leading Researcher of the Andrei Rublev Museum, Candidate of Art Criticism L. I. Antonova, Researcher T. A. Zhukova.