Stroganov school: features, famous works and characteristic style
Stroganov school: features, famous works and characteristic style

Video: Stroganov school: features, famous works and characteristic style

Video: Stroganov school: features, famous works and characteristic style
Video: Beef Stroganoff Recipe 2023, October

Recently, art historians are increasingly beginning to pay attention to the history of Russian painting of the 16th-17th centuries, which was represented in those days mainly by icon painting. This is a very interesting and little-studied layer of culture, in the depths of which many modern pictorial styles were formed. In Russia in the 16th-17th centuries there were quite a few icon-painting workshops, which, united, created special trends and schools of drawing. The most famous of them are the Godunov and Stroganov schools of Russian icon painting. Not all of their works have survived to the present. What are the names of the masters of those years known to us now? What works have survived to this day and what were the features of these trends in Russian culture?

Old Russian painting

In ancient Russia, there were such types of painting as monumental painting, icon painting and miniature. Iconography has received the greatest development. The earliest surviving icons date back to the 11th century; in terms of artistic style, they were close to Byzantine ones. At the end of the 12th century in Russia inmainly shoulder iconographic compositions were written (the Komnenos period). But gradually this direction is being replaced by a national approach. At this time, the predominance of bright colors in Russian icons begins. At the end of the 14th century, the famous Byzantine Theophanes the Greek began to create in Russia, whose work made a huge contribution to the development of Russian icon painting and painting. He introduced the concept of high Christian symbolism into art, in his frescoes there were many flashes of color falling on faces, as if personifying divine light. In his work, 2 periods can be distinguished - the expressive "Novgorod" and the softer "Moscow". Another discovery in the icon painting business of the 16th century was the master Dionysius, his artistic technique was distinguished by a special festivity. In the future, the main vectors for the development of painting skills were represented by two schools - the Godunov and Stroganov schools of Russian icon painting.

Godunov School

Some works of the late 16th century were commissioned by Tsar Boris Godunov, from this name came the name of one of the icon painting trends. Its representatives, following the old canon, revived the traditions of Dionysian writing.

portrait of Tsar Boris Godunov
portrait of Tsar Boris Godunov

Artistic features of the school:

  • finding canonized images directly next to images of living nature;
  • exposure with many human figures, trying to portray the crowd as a single group;
  • simultaneous use of cinnabar red, green and ocher tones;
  • desire to conveyobjective materiality.

The famous works of this school are the murals of the Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin.

Merchants Stroganovs - the founders of the school

One of the famous and we althy representatives of Veliky Novgorod - Fyodor Stroganov - in 1475 moved to Solvychegodsk. His son was the founder of the Perm region, s alt mines, monasteries. And already his descendants - Maxim and Nikita Stroganov became the richest s alt merchants who glorified this surname. They both loved icon painting and were engaged in this art themselves. But mostly the icons were made by their order by Solvychegodsk craftsmen, as well as Moscow artists who worked in the royal workshops. Almost all Stroganov icons with signatures were painted specifically for the merchant brothers and their people. In those days, a division of labor arose among icon painters: there were "personalists", "dolicniks", artists of "chamber writing".

Godunov and Stroganov schools of Russian icon painting, main differences

The Godunov school continued to move in line with the style of A. Rublev and Dionisy, its artisans worked for the tsar and therefore represented, as it were, the "official" line in art. Monumentality prevails in these creations, such icons were basically intended to equip temples, gold and silver shades prevail in their technique.

The Stroganov school gravitates towards exquisite drawings and subtlety of color solutions. Their icons, as a rule, are small and are intended more for decoration than for prayer. In their techniquepainstaking study of small details, details dominates.

Distinctive features of the Stroganov direction

The Stroganov school of icon painting was distinguished by the following features:

  • Icons of small sizes, written in a complex and miniature.
  • The color palette is built on halftones with golden hues.
  • Almost obligatory presence of the landscape along with the figures of the characters.
  • Special, whimsical image of clouds in the sky.
  • There are always many small elements in the composition, such as chambers, slides, figures of people, plants.
  • Icons, as it were, always tell about something, in the center the image of a martyr or saint is depicted in wide strokes of color.
  • The image of the plant world is as close to natural as possible, using gold paint.
  • Architectural images are complemented by detailed towers, ladders, gazebos, domes.
  • Feel emotionality, transmission of anxiety, expression, for example, many spiral curls are drawn.
  • Human figures are characterized by elongated proportions.
  • Clothes are depicted in bright colors, mostly red, yellow and green, with small folds and with the addition of golden paint.
  • Faces were written in bright colors, with spaces, details of appearance, such as hair, were carefully outlined.

Summing up, we can say that the Stroganov and Godunov schools of icon painting differed in the very understanding of the purpose of the icon. The Stroganovites were characterized by a miniatureimage, complexity, elegance and a departure from monumentality, such an icon already ceases to be an image for prayer, but becomes a precious miniature.

Three stages of school development

In art criticism, the paintings of the Stroganov school are conditionally divided into 3 stages.

1. "Old Stroganov Letters"

The initial period in its style is very reminiscent of Novgorod creations. The icons of the Stroganov school created at that time can be considered among the wonderful "Novgorod" samples produced on the estate of Solvychegodsk merchants.

2. "Second Stroganov Letters"

At this stage, the basic idea of this school is based. Here the manner of writing as a figurative embodiment of the world and God is lost. Instead, a convex splendor appears, a certain majesty, a desire for beauty. Everything is served with a certain mannerism, emphasized by graceful poses, the boards are covered with golden and catchy colors. These icons are miniature; they were written mainly not for temples, but for home worship and gradually became everyday objects of Muscovite Russia.

Colorized graphics, miniature performance - such techniques represent the second period of creativity of this school.

3. "Baron"

This stage falls on the 18th century, it can be called the modification of samples of the second period. The icon ceases to be a genre of painting and finally turns into a jewel, the place of which is rather in the treasury than in the church. These works, in fact, are the finest miniatures,examples of which are in the "chambers" of the Transfiguration cemetery and St. Nicholas Monastery.

Procopius Chirin

Chirin is a very gifted Russian artist, a master of the Stroganov school. His most famous work is the icon "Nikita the Warrior" (1593).

photo of the icon Nikita-warrior
photo of the icon Nikita-warrior

The canvas depicts a holy warrior, wearing a red shirt, a bright blue cloak and golden armor. His figure is distinguished by fragility, there is no masculinity in it, the image is emphatically refined. The main attention of the master is paid to the perfection of colorful combinations, the image of small details of clothing, the face and hands of the warrior are drawn in miniature.

The icon "John the Baptist in the Desert" is also attributed to this master. Her drawing confirms that the image of the landscape began to come to the fore in the Stroganov school of Russian icon painting. The desert here is no longer a simple image of slides, but a diverse perspective with a river and vegetation, where there are also figures of people and animals. Against this background, the image of the saint clearly emerges, as if conveying the mood of the fatal loneliness of the soul in the surrounding world. The work deeply conveys the lyricism of a poetic landscape with detailed rivers.

photo of the icon John the Baptist
photo of the icon John the Baptist

Chirin is the author of many icons, which are usually attributed to the first years of the 16th century, for example, the icon of St. John the Warrior, written for M. Stroganov, belongs to his brush. In this canvas, P. Chirin showed himself to be a true master of a polysyllabic line. From the Novgorod manner hereonly the elegance of slightly elongated proportions remained. In terms of color perception, this author does not differ much from other representatives of his school. Somewhat muted tones make it related to the Moscow icon painting trend.

In the period from 1597-1604, during the reign of Godunov, "Selected Saints" were written by him. On the canvas, in a certain symmetry, the saints patronizing the reigning dynasty are depicted. Prince Boris - the representative of the tsar himself - in a headdress, in a fur coat adorned with precious stones and pearls. Fedor Stratillat is a martyr who patronizes his son, another saint is the patron of Boris by his other name. Only the name Gleb had nothing to do with the Godunov family, but traditionally he was depicted in icon painting with his brother; behind them are female patrons - Maria and Xenia.

Godunov's daughter was known for her chastity and beautiful appearance, accordingly, her saint Xenia was on the icon. All characters are depicted in some emotional restraint. The background of the painting is rendered in golden olive tones. The strict symmetry of the image, a large amount of gold and an ornamental pattern raise the icon to a level corresponding to the magnificent solemnity of the royal court. Chirin, as an artist, was especially attracted by the images of those who pray, the images of Christ and the Mother of God with babies. A frequent theme of this master was the image of Mary. The virgins created by him ("Our Lady of Tikhvin", "Our Lady of Vladimir") are emphatically refined and pretty. The secular orientation is especially felt in the waythe image of Mary is interpreted. The skill of the artist here is mainly subject to the image of patterns, the colors acquire a slightly metallic tint. It should be noted that the patronesses of the female part of the Stroganov family are depicted in the side wings - the righteous and holy martyrs. It can be concluded that the reason for writing the fold was a significant event for this family. In the selection of images depicted on the icon, one can feel the desire of the Stroganovs to trace their genealogical line.

photo of the icon of the Virgin of the Caves
photo of the icon of the Virgin of the Caves

Nikifor Savin

This is another wonderful Russian artist, a master of the Stroganov school, who created about 15 icons under his signature. Of his works, the icon "The Miracle of Fyodor Tiron" (beginning of the 17th century) stands out the most, based on the Christian story about a martyr warrior.

image of the icon of the Miracle of Tyrone
image of the icon of the Miracle of Tyrone

According to the Apocrypha, Tyrone's mother was kidnapped by a huge serpent, but he saves her. This hero was revered in Russia as the winner of the evil inclination. Here you can observe the unification of several fragments: the royal court watching the struggle, Tyrone praying for victory, and his battle with the serpent. Apocrypha scenes are depicted in detail and very exquisitely. Gold, silver, colored varnishes are used in the multi-layer color scheme. A thin niello pattern is superimposed on the gold base, creating a shimmering surface. Art historians suggest that this master had stylistically different time periods of writing, the first - "color" and later - "gold".

Another one survived,dating from the beginning of the 17th century, the icon of this author is "Conversation of Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom".

photo of the icon by Nikifor Savin
photo of the icon by Nikifor Savin

This icon reveals with great persuasiveness the theme of the welfare of God, where the saints are depicted at the moment of the rite of communion. The figures of Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom are painted in such a way that they are combined into a single composition. These saints were deeply revered in Russia from the time of baptism. In works of art, they were often depicted on the royal gates, which emphasized the extraordinary significance of these saints as authors of liturgies. The main place in this icon is given to a hill, symbolizing spiritual ascent. People who yearn for spiritual enlightenment and communion with the divine miracle come to great teachers, the meandering line between the slides is identified with the fertile river of Christian doctrine.

Another famous painting - "An angel keeps a sleeping person's soul and body" (beginning of the 17th century). The iconography depicts an angel holding a crucifix at the head of a sleeping person. A deesis is placed above the bed as a reminder of the Last Judgment. This icon is associated with prayer texts before falling asleep, where there are thoughts about guardian angels who drive away demons at night and protect a person from any troubles during the day. Nikifor Savin is rightly ranked among the best Stroganov artists.

Emelyan Moskvitin

This master is credited with the authorship of the work "Vests on Rogozhskycemetery".

This canvas reveals a sophisticated sense of colors and lines: the combination of yellow, green and pinkish conveys a delicate, slightly cold harmony. In the work one feels as if the last echo of that passion for beauty, which is so clearly manifested in Ferapontov's frescoes. Moskvitin's icon "Three youths in the cave" also became famous.

Yemelyan's letter definitely lies in the canvas of the Novgorod tradition. This is evidenced by the mannered image of poses and fairly detailed coloring.

Themes of works and stylistic devices

According to the thematic principle, the iconography of this school is schematically divided into 3 large groups: the namesake (depicting the patron), icons depicting saints and icons describing Orthodox holidays. For the Stroganov school of painting of the 17th century, the first group is especially characteristic. Their options are quite diverse, but secular orientation can be traced everywhere. Among the Stroganovites, the creation of icons depicting the Mother of God was widespread. They gave this image a chamber, domestic character. The same can be seen in the interpretation of their deesis and holiday icons.

photo of the icon "Deesis"
photo of the icon "Deesis"

In the reproductions of holidays, the intimacy of images is especially felt due to the presence of everyday details of the genre. The execution of Stroganov's icons is emphatically aestheticized, this is most likely due to the high social status of their customers. The icons personified the aesthetic standard of certain groups of the Russian community. Perhaps this explainsspecial painstaking and thoroughness of drawing, the utmost elegance of the images - the saints on them practically do not touch the ground, but seem to hover above it.

The icon painters of this school are connected by the same attitude towards form, space and chamber writing. The volume is transmitted mainly by purely conventional lighting, and the lines do not violate the image plane in any way. The design of the space is also conditional. Artists of this school are trying to show "gut chambers". To convey the spatial structure, they use the techniques that were then in use with the masters of the facial chronicle.

In the Stroganov school of art, the techniques of the tent image are quite characteristic: mostly one-domed churches topped with pointed kokoshniks or houses with a large number of small black windows, with wide arches and pointed spiers. The width of the ends of buildings, window and arched openings was always depicted. In their style, Stroganov icons are similar to the works of Moscow court painters and Moscow representatives of this school of the early period.

The historical significance of the school

The Stroganov school of icon painting played an important role in the evolution of Russian art. This was a turning point in the development of Russian icon painting, in the depths of this trend those properties developed that subsequently determined the nature of the painting of the developed 17th century. First of all, this is the secular presentation of images, manifested in the drawing of portraits, as well as the desire of artists to most plausibly depict historicaldevelopments. The result of the activities of the Stroganov school of drawing was the emergence of secular painting in the 18th century. This is the historical significance of the school and its role in the development of Russian art.

So, summing up what has been said, we can conclude that in Russia in the 16-17 centuries there were already fully formed trends in the genre of icon painting, and that one of its main representatives was the Stroganov icon painting school. In addition, it can be added that this school went through several stages of its formation, had its own distinctive features, a characteristic artistic style, as well as its own stylistic orientation and thematic content. The Stroganov school had real masters of their craft, such as Prokopy Chirin, Emelyan Moskvitin, the Savin dynasty of artists, as well as other lesser-known authors. Some of their works have survived to this day and are in art galleries and museums.