For a contemporary artist or art lovers surname Stroganoff is best known for the title of the Moscow Higher School of Industrial Art, colloquially referred to as the Art Institute, as well as the stories of the Securities icons «Stroganov school». These phenomena have arisen at different times, it is really connected to the history of Russian culture. The founder of the open in 1825, the «School of drawing in relation to the arts and crafts» (since 1868 — School of Technical Drawing), famous statesman Count Sergei G. Stroganov, collecting the best examples of painting, he paid special attention to the icons previously owned by his famous ancestor.
The first mention of the Stroganoff refer to the XIV century. «There is … the legendary properties of the legend of the origin of the word: Stroganoff — narrated in one of the studies, — Stroganoff comes from a noble nobleman baptized Spyridon, who taught Russian consumption accounts; Spyridon embittered Tatars captured in battle, tortured him to death zastrogali. Son called it so Stroganov. » Others believe that the Stroganoff — came from the peasants of northern Pomerania, which in the XVI century, became engaged in industrial salt, finding her field in a small village on the river Vychegda, a tributary of the Northern Dvina. We also know that they have long been close to the royal court and participated in the most important affairs of state. In the middle of the XV century on their money bought from Tatar captivity Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily the Blind. In 1581 at the expense of the family was assembled squad Ataman Yermak, who joined the Siberian lands to the Moscow kingdom. Stroganoff and helped in the fight against the Polish-Lithuanian invaders in 1608-1613 years.
At the beginning of XVII century the imperial decree was commanded to call representatives of the Stroganov family patronymic, which was an exceptional honor. But not only commercial and military affairs occupied the attention of the rich and famous people. In the northern town of Solvychegodsk whose land they owned, old Anika Fedorovich Stroganov was intended to put the stone temple, equal to the wealth of the Moscow Kremlin. Bishop of Rostov the Great Nicander, who reports to the north of the church, gave his blessing to the above such a temple. Icon «Annunciation», donated by Anike, it was determined the name of the future sobora- Annunciation. In 1584 the temple was consecrated. Now, should decorate it, and the Stroganovs were invited the best artists, specially built in his home near the iconic closet.
Of course, at first it was a bit icons. First of all, they were written for the barriers separating the altar and the main room of the church. From them we know the sanctuary door, which is located to the left of the Holy Doors and the icon of the «Trinity», is, on the contrary, to the right of them. There has been installed and the main temple of the icon «Annunciation». All are large in size. Large images «Trinity» and «Annunciation» surrounded by smaller in square stamps, which are fully described in the content and meaning of the central image. These icons were in a «local» number of the iconostasis. Above him was placed a series depicting Gospel events in the life of Christ and Our Lady — «the holidays.» Even higher — icons of saints, bowed in prayer to the central image of the Savior, from which to save the image of the holy Russian Metropolitan Alexy (died in 1378), honoring it had Stroganoff special.
Icons and hung on the walls and pillars of the cathedral. So, on the north, the left pillar placed image of the «Last Judgment» — the huge size of the icon, to a height of almost two meters in width and a half. These images are in the main cathedral of Russia — Moscow Assumption in Sophia Novgorod. On such an icon who prays sees the scene of Christ’s second coming to earth and related events — the end of the world, the trial of sinners, and heavenly bliss righteous souls. In these defects, ruining a man called slander, avarice, idle talk, magnification. On the pillars hung icons of martyr Nikita and St. Maximus the Confessor — the patron saints of Nikita and Maxim Stroganov, Anika grandchildren. And on the icon of the Virgin, seated on a throne at her feet pripadaet martyrs and Eupraxia Nikita — Nikita Stroganov patrons and his wife. For such images can now be judged on the establishment of a pas Minty, knowing years of life of the customer. For example, if Maxim Y. Stroganov died in 1623, it is, therefore, of his holy icon could be set up no later than this year. Interestingly, the reverse side of individual icons inscriptions with the date of creation and the name of the customer, and many mentioned in the cathedral Inventories end of the XVI century.
Almost all the icons that were in the Annunciation Church, made in the Solvychegodsk. We were at the Stroganov and his painters — Istoma Savin, Nazarov Savin, Bogdan Sobolev, languor Elizarov and others (many names have not survived). Stroganov invited the best craftsmen from different cities, where the icon-painting workshops, and gave orders imperial masters. Construction of the temple decoration continued for many years, but all the icons associated with orders for Stroganoff Annunciation Cathedral, distinguished not only precious materials from which they were created (colors, gold, silver frame, stones), but also a wealth of content.
On one of the first icons of the cathedral — the sanctuary door — just put three songs. The central hallmark shows the creation of man by God. In the image of the Creator is depicted Christ himself. Adam and Eve, who are in heaven, clothed in royal robes. Beyond Paradise their naked bodies covered with leaves. Entrance to Paradise fire guards (cinnabar color) six-winged cherub with a sword. Under this stamp depicts «Murder of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist.» During the census of the Jewish people by King Herod in the first year of Christ’s birth a baby John was hiding with his mother in the mountains because of the royal order of all children under three years of age should have been put to death. The soldiers forced the king Zechariah name the place where his son was hiding, but getting no answer, the Prophet was killed near the temple. The sacrificial death — this is the basic idea of the image. A top brand, which is called the «Mountain of Jerusalem», that is, the heavenly Jerusalem, we see Christ on the throne. On both sides bowed Virgin and John the Baptist in heavenly white robes. In the prayer addressed to Christ martyrs, saints, prophets and dressed in shining clothes. Before the throne to be the apostle Paul, who, according to legend, was raised alive up to heaven and saw God. All three compositions seemingly different in content in common: through self-denial and death dates a man in paradise from which once was expelled for disobedience of the Creator who created it.
Quite different is shown the creation of man in one of the hallmarks of the icon «Trinity». Here, in the image of the Creator is presented in an eight-nimbus angel of God the Creator. In the initial stamps depict the first days of creation, when the angels were created, and then the sky with luminaries and the earth with water and land, and after the expulsion of the fallen angel created by wildlife and the first people — Adam and Eve. The following stamps (and there are twenty-two) talked about the major events of biblical history associated with the acts of the Holy Trinity is the people in the form of angels. Unusual icon of the Virgin on the throne. Next to her, placed her own symbolic images. For example, a ladder, which I saw in a dream the prophet Jacob, who led from earth to heaven. According to the teachings of the Church testified this dream phenomenon in the world of the Virgin Mary, who gave birth to man and God — Christ. Further shown Fleece (ie fleece) — it prophet Gideon, God showed a miracle: the prayer of the Prophet, one morning the dew fell on the meadow, and there spread a coat remained dry. Conversely, in the next morning dew covered with wool, but remained dry meadow. And this miracle predicted the phenomenon in the world of Mary — Virgin and Mother. In her hands seeing stone, wonderfully separated from the mountain, he, on the interpretation of Daniel, symbolizes the birth of Christ. Finally, it shows a burning and burning bush (burning bush), which saw the Prophet Moses, and also symbolizes the Virgin. The repetition of these symbols is found in the icon, and called — «Burning Bush». She developed a complex composition at the end of the XVI century. In people, this image associated with the element of fire. In addition to these images, this includes symbols of the Evangelists: angel — Matthew Eagle — Mark, the lion — John cells — Luca.
Rare stamps are placed in the image, telling about the lives of the saints — Maximus the Confessor, Procopius Ustyug, Theodore Sikeota. They are not created with ready-made samples, and from literary sources, and are unique. Getting Stroganov masters with a few tales testifies to the fact that they themselves Stroganoff, pick up his painters, had an outstanding artistic taste and excellent knowledge of theological literature. Attack allows the output more deeply and see the history of Russian culture, and character of ancient Russia.
Similar conclusions are opened now, thanks to a long and painstaking work of many researchers — restorers, art historians, literary critics. Sami icons, about which it was told, became known only recently: a few hundred years covered image darkened varnish or later compositions, distort vision, ancient. Disclosure of this plan — the artistic and meaningful — belongs to the employees of All-Russian scientific and artistic restoration center named after I. Grabar, where carried out restoration of the icons, which consisted of several stages. First we strengthened destroyed most of the gesso (ground) and a layer of paint. After that it had to reveal an ancient painting. However, before the icon rengenografirovali — shone all the layers from the board with key, ending with later layers. Experienced restorer immediately obvious — whether well preserved ancient painting layer. Then small portions of later layers of varnish and paint were removed, and the work was carried out under a microscope. When opened the original layers, it turned out that the picture on some icons are similar. For example, the same images of the saints are written, like drawing figures. In this case, we can assume that he wrote them one master. Nevertheless, each icon of the unique ability to build iconographer composition ratio of color to choose, convey, without departing from the rules of writing, especially the spiritual condition of the saints. Ancient painters distinguished and excellent ownership pattern, knowledge of the message and recipes of colors and many other things, what the modern artist should learn.
Until recently, the «Stroganov letter» called the small size of the icon with thumbnail images of saints set in the elegant, fanciful but poses different from the old — monumental. Such icons prized by collectors. Quite different content should be included in this concept now, after the restoration carried out. Icons created in the Stroganov Solvychegodsk workshops, differ significantly from the letter, which began to develop in the environment of the metropolitan masters in the early XVII century, leading to the decline of the art of icon painting, its rebirth in painting on religious themes. Embellishing ancestral temple, Stroganovs care about preserving the ancient traditions of iconography — artistic and theological making Annunciation Cathedral Solvychegodsk kind of island in the turbulent stream of public life. And this knowledge of «eminent persons Stroganoff» is a new way to add ideas of Russian icon painting and Russian history.