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On the Question of the Iconography of Russian Bust-Length Deesis Iconostases in the 15th - 16th Centuries: On One Genealogical Classification
Abstract.The article addresses the only study to date that is focused entirely on the iconography of full-figured Deesis and analyzes the theses presented in it.The author's attention is focused mainly on the theses regarding the models and their copies by icon painters; the images revealed through modifications; the extent of their prevalence and relationship of modifications and their “lists”. The author, stating his adherence to the textological research method, analyzes genealogical studies on particular icons and iconographic types. The author examines the conclusions regarding the icons of the iconostasis of the Kremlin Annunciation Cathedral as “the only archetype” for Russian Deesis icons, as well as the simplification of this “archetype” by subsequent icon painters, leading to the appearance of new imagery.The novelty of the proposed approach lies in the collation of icon images using the contours of their drawing, which allows to visually present the discussed images with all their details, as well as to compare a significant number of icons at the same time. As a result of the verification of the theses from the work under review, carried out using extensive additional material (the author considered more than one and a half hundred Deesis iconostases and their fragments), the following conclusions were made:1) the icons of the Annunciation Cathedral were not the iconographical source of Russian Deesis icons;2) in Russian icons there is no simplification of the drawing compared with the icons of the Annunciation iconostasis;3) the author did not observe any universal or compulsory copying;4) in some cases perhaps several models were used at the same time, which makes Deesis icons almost closed for genealogical research;5) the number and variety of image versions that are part of the Deesis far exceed those described in the literature.
Keywords: the Vasil'evsky Deesis Row, textual criticism, copying, archetype, the Blagoveschensky Deesis Row, stemma, icon-tracing, iconography, the Deesis, labor saving
Article was received:25-09-2018
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .