Bronze Horseman Books

Icon Painting, Medieval Russian Art, Byzantine Art

The conversion to Christianity in the tenth century of the Slavs inhabiting the lands of present-day Russia and Ukraine had a momentous effect on art and architecture. Converted by Greek missionaries, the grand prince in Kyiv, then the center of the East Slavic federation, received and inculcated Christian culture in its Byzantine forms. Churches were built, and icons and frescoes for ritual and decoration became an immediate need. The forms and technical know-how came from Constantinople. Local styles evolved around the principal cities such as Novgorod, Pskov, Vladimir, Suzdal, and Moscow. These styles in turn ramified in remote areas such as the Ural Mountains and the White Sea and Lake Onega regions of the north. Bronze Horseman carries historical surveys and overviews on the origins of art in Rus’, on icons and frescoes of the tenth to the seventeenth century, on the first schools of secularized religious art in the eighteenth century, the so-called late icon (pozdniaia ikona).

Bronze Horseman also imports monographs on specific themes: schools and regional styles, particular churches and icon-painters, technique and preservation. Collection catalogues, publishing works belonging to specific museums, churches or monasteries, add palpably to the sources for study of works of art not readily accessible to scholars in the West. Research on icons and frescoes in the last two decades has flourished: as opposed to the Soviet period, scholars have been free to study works of religious art from all points of view. Also in this section are books on Byzantine art, in which Russian museums abound: such historians as F. I. Buslaev and N. P. Kondakov laid the foundation in the late nineteenth century for research on Byzantine art, and the work of Russian Byzantinists is reflected in Russia’s collections of Byzantine icons and applied arts.

For a complete list of books on Icon Painting, Medieval Russian Art, and Byzantine Art, email:

Andrei Rublev
G. V. Popov

The director of the Andrei Rublev Museum of Medieval Russian Art surveys the certain and probable works created by Rublev in the late fourteenth and fifteenth century. Besides surveying the well-known icons, Popov looks into Rublev’s work in manuscript illumination and frescoes. Illustrations are exceptionally well reproduced, capturing the clarity of the forms and brightness of the colors; the publisher took pains to photograph anew many works and print the book in Italy.
213 pp., 10 1/2 x 11 1/2 ins., 24 b-&-w illus., 122 color, sewn pb., Rus. and ENGLISH, 2007, $72.00

Pamiatniki vizantiiskogo prikladnogo iskusstva IV–VII vekov. Katalog kollektsii (Monuments of Byzantine Applied Art of the 4th to the 7th c.: Catalogue of the [Hermitage] Collection)
V. N. Zalesskaia

As she catalogues the art, the Hermitage’s curator and eminent Byzantinist uses the museum’s rich collection to write an authoritative survey of four centuries of Byzantine applied and decorative art: metalwork (silver, bronze), jewelry, glass, carved ivory, and ceramics. Located in the Eastern Orthodox world and pioneers in the study of Byzantine art, the Russians naturally built up copious and well-chosen collections, and many of the works ended up the Hermitage. This catalogue of the collection will be essential for reference on a major branch of world art.
272 pp., 8 ¾ x 11 ins., 13 b-&-w illus., 677 color, sewn cl., Rus.with intro. in ENGLISH, 2006, $162.00

Pskovskaia ikona 13 – 16 vekov (Pskov Icons of the 13th to the 16th c.)
Irina Rodnikova

The Pskovian school of icon-painting has long been recognized as an artistic phenomen in its own right. Having the good fortune to escape Tatar-Mongol devastation, Old Pskov, like Novgorod, carefully preserved its artistic traditions through the centuries. Pskov icons painted in keeping with ancient Greek prototypes are profoundly philosophic and poetic. They combine an intense spirituality of the images, as revealed by the contemplative expression of the saints’ eyes, with original iconography and a rare pictorial temperament. The distinctive features of the Pskovian school are most clearly demonstrated by the icons of the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, which occupy a special place in the treasure trove of early Russian art. Also noteworthy are sixteenth-century icons which bear witness to a deep-rooted continuity in the work of medieval Pskov painters.
Published are the most important restored icons which were attributed to the Pskovian school on the basis of their provenance, material and stylistic features, as well as historical records. In addition, there are some works whose artistic qualities, subject matter and history speak in favor of their assignment to the circle of Pskovian icon-painting. In the main, they come from the Pskov Museum, the Russian Museum,  the Tretyakov Gallery, the Hermitage, the Andrei Rublev Museum of Early Russian Art, and the Historical Museum. The curator of the Pskov Museum has selected the works and written the the text and catalogue.
128 pp., 10 x 12 ins., 117 color and 11 b/w illus., cl., Rus., 2007, $55.00

Stupeni masterstva: Katalog ikon, restavrirovannykh studentami Rossiiskoi akademii zhivopisi, vaianiia i zodchestva 1997 – 2007 (Steps of Mastery: Catalogue of Icons Restored by Students of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture 1997–2000)
T. N. Nechaeva, L. Iu. Iasnova

The works published here from the Andrei Rublev Museum of Early Russian Culture and Art date from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Many of them were salvaged from neglected churches by the museum’s scholarly expeditions and now that they are restored can for the first time be studied as part of Russia’s rich heritage of icon-painting.
248 pp., 8 1/4 x 10 3/4 ins., 30 b-&-w illus, 141 color, sewn cl., Rus. and ENGLISH, 2007, $68.00

Sophia: Sbornik statei po iskusstvu Vizantii i Drevnei Rusi v chest’ A. I. Komecha (Sophia: The Art of Byzantium and Rus’: Festschrift for A. I. Komech)
A. L. Batalov, E. S. Smirnova et al.

The late Aleksei Il’ich Komech was one of Russia’s most authoritative historians of architecture. His path in the Soviet period was not an easy one, as he insisted on writing from the evidence of the sources rather than from any ideological point of view. His reputation as a scholar and as a champion of preservation was earned through excellent scholarship, a keen analytical mind, and great perseverance. The introductions trace Komech’s career and provide a bibliography of his works. The articles present research by leading scholars of medieval Russian and Byzantine art and architecture from Russia, Greece, Serbia, France and the United States.
600 pp., 6 x 9 ins., 172 b-&-w illus,49 color, sewn cl., Rus., ENGLISH, and French, 2006, $83.00

Sviatye zemli russkoi (Saints of the Russian Land)
T. Vilinbakhova, I. Sosnovtseva, et al.

The authors publish and describe hagiographical icons from the collection of the Russian Museum that are both artistically significant and well preserved. The collection comprises works of most centuries and schools from the first centuries of Russian Orthodox art, when most of the icons represented saints from the Byzantine canon, through the medieval, Muscovite and Imperial periods, when a distinct body of images about specifically Russian holy men accrued. Entries concentrate on the content rather than the style of the icons, summarizing saints’ lives and the history of each icon type.
256 pp., 10 x 13 ins., 177 color illus., sewn cl., ENGLISH, 2010, $110.00

Pechati vizantiiskikh imperatorov. Katalog kollektsii (Seals of the Byzantine Emperors: Catalogue of the [Hermitage] Collection)
I. V. Sokolova

One of the three best collections in the world, the Hermitage has approximately 12,000 Byzantine seals, many deriving from the pre-revolutinoary collecting and research of N. Likhachev and the Russian Archeological Institute in Constantinople. Other sources were S. G. Stroganov’s collection and the archeological expeditions at Chersonesos. Incorporating the latest research, the author revises many dates and attributions, cites a range of literature, identifies analogous works in other collections, and notes changes in materials and imagery from period to period (e.g., iconoclasm).
120 pp., 8 ¾ x 10 ½ ins., 204 b-&-w illus., 181 color, sewn cl., Rus. with intro. in ENGLISH, 2007, $88.00

Moskovskaia ikona 14 – 17 vekov (Moscow Icons of the 14th to the 17th C.)
Engelina Smirnova

Formed in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Moscow school of icon-painting is celebrated as the alma mater of such geniuses as Andrei Rublev and Dionysius. Rublev is credited for heralding a new period in the history of Moscow icon-painting. In his work he was able to fuse together the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century artistic legacy of the central Russian principalities, particularly that of Rostov the Great, and the time-honored traditions of Byzantine masters including Theophanes the Greek. His best-known masterpiece, The Old Testament Trinity – a tribute to St Sergius of Radonezh, was widely imitated. The late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries saw the creative activities of Dionysius who dominated Moscow’s artistic scene, leaving a large number of pupils and followers. Published here are chiefly icons of great artistic and historical interest.
112 pp., 10 x 12 ins., 2 b-and-w illus., 116 color, cl., Rus., 2008, $55.00

Drevnerusskoe iskusstvo: iskusstvo rukopisnoi knigi. Vizantiia. Drevniaia Rus’ (Medieval Russian Art: the Art of the Manuscript Book in Byzantium and Rus’)
E. S. Smirnova, N. K. Kvlividze, M. A. Orlova et al.

This is the first edition of the prestigious series since 1983 to devote all the chapters to manuscripts. The advances in manuscript studies since that publication are evident in the work of the scholars published here; often employing new methods and findings, they cover most aspects of manuscript study and thus offer a good overview of the state of manuscript research. Subjects of articles range from the technology of paper to the stylistic analysis of manuscript illuminations; most originated in a 1998 conference at the Institute of Art History in Moscow.
480 pp., 8 1/2 x 11 ins., 149 b-&-w illus., sewn cl., Rus. with summaries in ENGLISH, 2004, $65.00

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