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Exhibition "In Search of Paradise. Traditions and Modernity" in Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve
February 15, 2018 19:08

Tsar Alexis Palace in the Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve, Moscow, is holding an exhibition that unveils the ancient mysteries of Christian symbols, tokens, and fables.

The exhibition “In Search of Paradise. Traditions and Modernity” tackles upon the hidden knowledge of bygone times. Nowadays, lots of things escape from the general public and remain misunderstood and unappreciated, since the modern paradigm and our ancestors’ worldview are way too different from each other. Probably, everyone happens to feel embarrassed, once faced with the need to decipher encoded Christian symbols in various types of art: whether architectural elements of Russian architecture or household utensils; national costume or the magnificent decoration of church interiors. Oftentimes, the title conceals the meaning implied in the work of its author, and though was quite clear to the contemporaries, remains "a mystery behind seven seals" for the new generation. What do the letters in the left-hand corner mean, why is it not a fish, but a dolphin depicted here, what kind of bird, animal and plant do we see in the work?

The exhibition "In Search of Paradise ..." provides answers to these questions. It offers visitors to get acquainted with some (by far not all) "words" from the rich vocabulary of Christian symbols.

One of the most ancient types of humans’ graphic activity is ornamental pattern. In the distant past it was deeply symbolic and had a magical meaning. Gradually, those symbolic signs acquired the ornamental expressiveness of the pattern, which began to be regarded as an independent aesthetic value. Over time, the ancient pagan symbols were inherited by the Christian church. The path of their development rooted in ancient pictograms was very long and complicated.

For many generations the phrase "Lost Paradise" has become a philosophical and poetic generalization of the dramatic experience of a human striving for spiritual enlightenment amidst disasters and catastrophes.

A journey to Paradise, regardless of whether a person attains it or not, as well as traveling to holy places can transform a person or change their state of mind. In the idea of ​​Paradise, the past and future of a human are mixed. Paradise is created by a human - human freedom, human creativity, and human effort. For “the kingdom of God is within us”, according to Christ. This is the way to achieve perfection, beauty around us and integrity of spirit.

Displayed exhibits from the collection of the Moscow State Unified Museum Reserve help to trace with which artistic language people tried to recreate around them something what they felt akin to Heavenly Paradise – their Earthly Paradise.

The longing for higher harmony, some sort of Paradise still exists in our turbulent times. Modern comprehension of this aesthetics in art can be illustrated with the works by remarkable well-known Russian artist Natalia Zakharova. For the artist, the attainment of Paradise consists in the cognition of all that is hidden within traditional symbols, in comprehending the aesthetic heritage of Russian decorative and applied arts. The artist can see deeply symbolic manifestations in modern everyday life.

When: from December 20, 2017 to April 22, 2018.

Where: Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve at the address 39, Andropov Avenue, next to Kolomenskaya metro station, Moscow.

See details on the Museum website 


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve Exhibitions in Moscow    

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