The aim of this research on illustrated apocalypses is to establish the attribution of manuscripts to a certain iconographic edition and identify stylistic particularities in ornamentation and miniatures. This allows us to not only investigate the development and historical context of Russian manuscript miniatures as a phenomenon in the visual arts, but also deeply understand the views, ideas, and attitudes of believers that were often better conveyed in pictures: with clarifying details and signatures, these images demonstrate personal relations to narratives through the assistance of colour and light, contrasting lines, and focusing attention of the reader to important moments. The Nizhny Novgorod illuminated apocalypse under consideration (from the collection of Institute of Manuscripts and Old-Printed Books, Nizhny Novgorod) is distinguished by a whole range of unusual approaches to the images. Although the manuscript belongs to the most widespread iconographic edition of apocalypses (the Filaret-Chudovo edition), it contains some rare exceptions to this tradition. As a result of the comparative analysis with other manuscripts of the Filaretov-Chudovo edition, a manuscript with the same distinguishing visual and textual features has been identified in the collection of the Warsaw National Library. The miniatures in both manuscripts have original execution, evidently formed under the influence of Western European art. Analysis of the iconography shows that this type of imagery may have arisen in the Russian lands of the Polish-Lithuanian state. The presence of similar characteristic fine features in the Nizhny Novgorod and Warsaw manuscripts allows speaking about the existence of a sustained “izvod” (modified version) within the Filaret-Chudovo iconographic edition. Today, this variant of iconography exists only in two manuscripts. There is no data on the existence and spread of illuminated apocalypses with a similar pictorial range. As more new manuscripts are identified and described, being introduced into scientific circulation, the number of items in this izvod of the Filaret-Chudovo edition will undoubtedly increase, thus widening and enriching our awareness of the illuminated apocalypses’ iconography.
- 03.00.00 HISTORY AND HISTORICAL SCIENCES
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