Traditions of Antique sculpture in external décor of the Russian Orthodox churches in the period of classicism

Eugenia Aleksandrovna Klishevich postgraduate student, Saint-Petersburg Repin State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of Russian Academy of Arts (Universitetskaya naberezhnaya, 17, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034)

Klishevich E.A. Traditions of Antique sculpture  in external décor of the Russian Orthodox churches  in the period of classicism, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2019, vol. 8, pp. 308–331.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2020-00005

Language: Russian

In the period of Russian сlassicism the Russian church architecture tookthe forms of the classical architectural orders, and external décor of the churches was enriched by the new elements such as a zoophorus, a sculptured paneland a sculptured pediment. Thus the Orthodox church sculpture for the firsttime went beyond ornamental art with historical subjects being spread in it.
The series of sculptured panels on the facades of Kazan Cathedral go back to thetype of the doric order frieze, that was undertaken through the Western European18th century styles. The exhibition of the plaster casts of the Parthenon sculpturesin Petersburg in 1820 contributed to the evolution of the types of a sculptured pediment and a zoophorus in the Russian monumental-decorative sculpture. Drawing on the example of the Parthenon pediments the project of facade decorationof St. Isaaс’s cathedral included the task of molding of the reliefs for the pedimentsin three dimensions. That was the new experience for Russian art.
The subjects of the Sacred History, that did not have iconography in Russian monumental-decorative sculpture, were interpreted in the décor of Kazanand St. Isaaс’s Cathedrals with the orientation on the examples of Catholic Italianart. This tendency was met with the reactions of the Eastern Orthodox church.
The representation of the Eparchy in the construction commission of KazanCathedral obstructed the execution of many external sculptures according to theproject. The control of the Most Holy Synod over the artistic works in St. Isaaс’sCathedral was not contrary to the trend of the external décor of the cathedral,but restricted using sculpture in the decoration of the iconostasis.

Creative Commons License

Key words: monumental-decorative sculpture, Russian classicism, Christianity, Antiquity

URL:откроется в новой вкладке)

download PDF