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Russian Woodcarving Tradition, Part 2
March 30, 2015 19:09


 
Dimensional Woodcarving 

Lots of churches in Vyatka (Kirov) have preserved iconostases, which are monuments of applied art. They owe high artistic value to the skill of local woodcarvers. Canonic requirements, stylistic Moscow trends and local artistic preferences gave rise to the original works of art in Vyatka.
 
Stone churches, which started to be built in Vyatka lands from the late 17th century, were decorated with traditional high Russian iconostasis, both those consisting of icons placed on horizontal transoms, and those carved in the Moscow Baroque style.
The earliest and most outstanding monument of local arts and crafts of the late 17th – early 18th centuries is the iconostasis of the Assumption Cathedral of the Tryphon Monastery in Vyatka. The wooden gold-plated iconostasis of five circles stands out with its consummate craftsmanship and is a rare sample of the high relief woodcarving.
 
The popular type of Vyatka iconostasis of the second half of the 18th century used the device of impulsive buildup of forms to the center and upward while keeping the high-rise tier structure. Another type of the local iconostasis is more static in its general pattern of construction outlines. 
 
The principles of Classicism established in architecture of Vyatka iconostases in the early 19th century entailed the triumphal arch motif to appear in lots of compositions. The arch became an indispensable motif of Vyatka classical iconostases. The arch was placed over the Royal doors to give weight to their role in composition.
Woodcarving for iconostases was less regulated by canons than work of icon painters or church architects. Woodcarvers decorated iconostases according to their own tastes, especially if the general composition was created by the carver. They submitted drawings of their woodcarving to the consistory for approval.
 
Strict classicistic iconostases were constructed at the end of the 19th century, though the interiors of Vyatka churches started changing under the influence of romantic eclecticism from the 1860s. The iconostases become magnificent: light and through-carved in some cases and heavy-weight and rough in other cases.
 
For centuries Vyatka iconostases have testified to the talent of local woodcarvers, who created original, magnificent, refined and complex works of art. Their intricate forms expressed folk esthetic views, which gave rise to the Dymkovo Toy and Kukarka Laces.
 
Sawed Woodcarving 
 
Such woodcarving is also called openwork or laced for its external likeness to laces. Its elements have no background as such, since all the inner areas of between the pattern outlines are sawed out or cut out with a fret saw. 
Multiple tooth and step ornaments were used to decorate platbands and house gables, as well as to frame entrance doors, staircase handrails of s and porch eaves.
 

The Russian farm house combined practicality and specific beauty. Various architectural details implied certain figurative meaning (with ancient functions of a charm and averter) and at the same time played a decorative role. Thus, for example, the need to close the gaps between a timbered house wall and a window frame gave birth to platbands, which decorate the house and create its peculiar boundary with the outside world.

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Sources: http://nhpko.ru 


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Folk Art Wooden Architecture Arts and Crafts Woodcarving Kirov Region 

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