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Renaissance

Architecture
In Russia

Introduction
Renaissance trends from Italy and Central
Europe influenced Russia in many ways, though
this influence was rather limited due to the large
distances between Russia and the main
European cultural centers, on one hand, and the
strong adherence of Russians to their Orthodox
traditions and Byzantine legacy, on the other
hand.

Prince Ivan III introduced Renaissance


architecture to Russia by inviting a number of
architects from Italy, who brought new construction
techniques and some Renaissance style elements
with them, while in general following the traditional
designs of the Russian architecture. In 1475 the
Bolognese architect Aristotele Fioravanti came to
rebuild the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow
Kremlin, damaged in an earthquake.
Fioravanti was given the 12th-century Vladimir
Cathedral as a model, and produced a design
combining traditional Russian style with a
Renaissance sense of spaciousness, proportion and
symmetry.

Ivan III Vasilyevich (22 January


1440, Moscow 27 October 1505,
Moscow), also known as Ivan the
Great, was a Grand Prince of
Moscow and Grand Prince of all Rus.

The Cathedral of the Dormition is


a Russian Orthodox church
dedicated to the Dormition of the
Theotokos. It is located on the north
side of Cathedral Square of
the Moscow Kremlin in Russia,
where a narrow alley separates the
north from the Patriarch's Palace
with the Twelve Apostles Church.

Southwest is Ivan the Great Bell Tower. Separately in the southwest, also
separated by a narrow passage from the church, is the Palace of Facets.
The Cathedral is regarded as the mother church of Muscovite Russia. In its
present form it was constructed between 147579 at the behest of the
Moscow Grand Duke Ivan III by the Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti.
From 1547 to 1896 it is where the Coronation of the Russian monarch was
held. In addition, it is the burial place for most of the
Moscow Metropolitans and Patriarchs of theRussian Orthodox Church.

Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir (sometimes translated Assumption


Cathedral) used to be a mother church of medieval Russia in the 13th
and 14th centuries. It is part of the World Heritage Site entitled White
Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.
The cathedral was commissioned by Andrew the Pious in his
capital Vladimir and dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin
Mary), whom he promoted as the patron saint of his lands. Originally
erected in 1158-1160, the 6-pillared 5-domed cathedral was expanded
in 1185-1189 to reflect the augmented prestige of Vladimir. Embracing
the area of 1178 sq. meters, it remained the largest of Russian
churches for the following 300 or 400 years.
The exterior walls of the church are covered with elaborate carvings.
The interior was painted in the 12th century and then repainted by the
great Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chernyi in 1408.
The Dormition Cathedral served as a model for Aristotele
Fioravanti when he designed the eponymous cathedral in the Moscow
Kremlin in 1475-1479. A lofty belltower, combining genuinely
Russian, Gothic, and Neoclassical influences, was erected nearby in
1810.

In 1485 Ivan III also commissioned the building


of a royal Terem Palace within the Kremlin,
with Aloisio da Milano being the architect of the
first three floors. Aloisio da Milano, as well as
the other Italian architects, also greatly
contributed to the construction of the Kremlin
walls and towers.

Terem Palace or Teremnoy Palace


a historical building in the Moscow
Kremlin, Russia, which used to be
the main residence of the Russian tsars in the
17th century. Its name is derived from the
Greek word (i.e., "dwelling"). Currently, the
structure is not accessible to the public, as it
belongs to the official residence of
the President of Russia.
The palace consists of five stories. The third story was occupied by the tsaritsa
and her children; the fourth one contained the private apartments of the tsar.
The upper story is a tent-like structure where the Boyar Duma convened. The
exterior, exuberantly decorated with brick tracery and colored tiles, is brilliantly
painted in red, yellow, and orange. The interior used to be painted as well, but
the original murals were destroyed by successive fires, particularly the great fire
of 1812. In 1837, the interiors were renovated in accordance with old drawings
in the Russian Revival style.

The small banqueting hall of


the Russian Tsars, called
the Palace of Facets because
of its facetted upper
story, is the work of two
Italians, Marco
Ruffo and Pietro Solario, and
shows a more Italian
Style.

The Palace of the Facets is a building in the Moscow


Kremlin, Russia, which contains what used to be the main banquet
reception hall of the Muscovite Tsars. It is the oldest preserved
secular building in Moscow. Located on Kremlin Cathedral Square,
between the Cathedral of the Annunciation and the Dormition
Cathedral. Currently, it is an official ceremonial hall in the residence of
the President of the Russian Federation and thus admission is limited
to prearranged tours only.

In 1505, an Italian known in Russia


as Aleviz Novyi or Aleviz Fryazin
arrived in Moscow. He may have been
the Venetian sculptor, Alevisio Lamberti
da Montagne.
He built 12 churches for Ivan III,
including the Cathedral of the
Archangel, a building remarkable for
the successful blending of Russian
tradition, Orthodox requirements and
Renaissance style.

It is believed that the Cathedral of the Metropolitan


Peter in Vysokopetrovsky Monastery, another work of
Aleviz Novyi, later served as an inspiration for the socalled octagon-on-tetragon architectural form in
the Moscow Baroque of the late 17th century.

The Cathedral of the Archangel is


a Russian Orthodox church dedicated
to the Archangel Michael. It is located
in Cathedral Square of the Moscow
Kremlin in Russia between the Great
Kremlin Palace and the Ivan the
Great Bell Tower.

It was the main necropolis of the Tsars of Russia until


the relocation of the capital to St. Petersburg. It was
constructed between 1505 and 1508 under the
supervision of an Italian architect Aloisio the New on
the spot of an older cathedral, built in 1333.

Between the early 16th and the late 17th centuries, however, an
original tradition of stone tented Roof architecture had been
developed in Russia. It was quite unique and different from the
contemporary Renaissance architecture elsewhere in Europe,
though some researches call that style Russian Gothic' and compare
it with the European Gothic architecture of the earlier period.
The Italians, with their advanced technology, may have influenced
the invention of the stone tented roof (the wooden tents were known
in Russia and Europe long before). According to one hypothesis,
an Italian architect called Petrok Maly may have been an author of
the Ascension Church in Kolomenskoye, one of the earliest and
most prominent tented roof churches.

Kolomenskoye village was first


mentioned in
the testament of Ivan Kalita
(1339). As time went by, the
village was developed as a
favourite country estate of grand
princes of Muscovy. The earliest
existing structure is the
exceptional Ascension church
(1532).

built in white stone to commemorate the long-awaited birth


of an heir to the throne, the future Ivan the Terrible. Being
the first stone church of tent-like variety, the uncanonical
"White Column" (as it is sometimes referred to) marked a
stunning break from the Byzantine tradition.

By the 17th century the influence


of Renaissance painting resulted
in Russian icons becoming slightly
more realistic, while still following
most of the old icon
painting canons, as seen in the
works of Bogdan Saltanov, Simon
Ushakov, Gury Nikitin, Karp
Zolotaryov and other Russian
artists of the era.
Gradually the new type of
secular portrait painting
appeared,
called parsna (from
"persona" person), which
was transitional style
between abstract
iconographics and real
paintings.

In the mid 16th-century Russians adopted printing from Central Europe,


with Ivan Fyodorov being the first known Russian printer. In the 17th
century printing became widespread, and woodcuts became
especially popular. That led to the development of a special form of
folk art known as lubok printing,which persisted in Russia well into
the 19th century. A number of technologies from the European
Renaissance period were adopted by Russia rather early, and
subsequently perfected to became a part of a strong domestic tradition.
Mostly these were military technologies, such as cannon casting
adopted by at least the 15th century. The Tsar Cannon, which is the
world's largest bombard by caliber, is a masterpiece of Russian
cannon making. It was cast in 1586 by Andrey Chokhov, and is
notable for its rich, decorative relief. Another technology, that
according to one hypothesis originally was brought from Europe
by the Italians, resulted in the development of vodka, the
national beverage of Russia.

As early as 1386 the Genoese ambassadors


brought the first aqua vitae ("the living water")
to Moscow and presented it to Grand Duke
Dmitry Donskoy. The Genoese likely got this
beverage with the help of the alchemists of
Provence, who used an Arab-invented distillation
apparatus to convert grape must into alcohol.
A Moscovite monk called Isidore used this
technology to produce the first original
Russian vodka c. 1430.

End