2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
During the most difficult times for Russia, the great icon painter Daniil Cherny (1350–1428) worked. The people languished under the yoke of Batu's troops who came from the east. They burned and devastated cities, towns, villages and took away to a full of Russian people.
The life of an icon painter
Historical sources are not preserved at all. There is no reliable information about the icon painter. Daniil Cherny worked in those dark and gloomy times when fires were a daily occurrence. In monasteries, centers of culture, manuscripts and annals burned. Therefore, we know practically nothing about how Daniil Cherny lived. His biography is hidden for centuries. Tatar-Mongol raids on the north-east of Russia were commonplace. For one hundred and fifty years of the yoke, people have become accustomed to being afraid. But the artist's job is to raise a person's spiritual well-being, to help, despite the circumstances, to believe, love and live. And besides, there was no unity in Holy Russia itself. The princes fought each other endlessly. Russian people died in the strife of princes.
Painting of medieval Russia
And at such a time, Russian painting is experiencing an unprecedented flowering. The names Feofan Grek, Daniil Cherny, Andrey Rublev are the pride of Russian culture. They were icon painters. On their work hadgreat influence icon-painting culture of Byzantium. But in Russia over the centuries it has undergone a transformation. Icons, however, were also written on boards. But the artist thought for a long time how to reflect the divine plan. Daniil Cherny frescoed the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir-on-Klyazma and painted icons.
The icon "John the Baptist" is dedicated to the heavenly patron who promotes peace and heals from diseases when they go to him with prayer and faith. The execution of frescoes requires from the artist great speed in work, and consequently, great skill. It's just that paints dry quickly on wet plaster, and the artist needs accuracy. The icon painter has only a few works left, for example, “St. Martyr Zosima" (1408). He was a kind hermit-hermit who communicated with wild animals as with people, and this was sent to him by the Lord as a consolation. But that is why he was accused of witchcraft and tortured, killed. Why was the icon painter attracted by the image of this saint? Probably because both the Tatars and the princes did not appreciate people and ruthlessly destroyed them. St. Zosima was supposed to remind our princes of mercy. Through the centuries, the fresco conveys the color of its era. The background is covered with gold, from which the figure of the saint protrudes and shines with a white outfit. There is no gaudiness at work. The colors are fresh and harmonious. In the hands of the saint is the Scripture, which in difficult times gives him strength.
Fresco "Bosom of Abraham"
The old man, whose name was previously translated as "my father is high", had no children with his wife Sarah. But Lordbrought him out of the city of Ur, giving him a new name - Abraham, which means "father of many peoples" in translation, and produced from him a new God-chosen people. And to be united with his bosom is to take refuge in the protection of Abraham. And in those days, and in our days, this topic does not cease to be relevant, the topic of hiding from troubles and misfortunes. The fresco represents paradise. It is made in noble calm bluish-greenish tones, which remind that there is a place of comfort and salvation.
The work of Daniil Cherny influenced the work of his brilliant student and friend Andrei Rublev. He was a true painter who brought comfort and hope to people.
He died of the plague and is supposedly buried in the Spassky Cathedral of the Andronikov Monastery, which stands on the banks of the Yauza.
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