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Russian Icon Designs 2 Volumes
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by Gleb Markelov
Russian and English Text
Gleb B. Markelov, editor
Publisher: Ivan Limbakh, 2001
2 volumes: Volume 1: 552 pp.; Volume 2: 636 pp. Size: 230 x 300 mm (9 x 11.8 in.); 500 black and white Illustrations, Hardcover.
Availability: Out of print
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Gleb B. Markelov, editor
The two volume set is titled, Russian Icon Design: A Compendium Of 500 Canonical Imprints And Transfers Of The 15-19th Centuries.
The text is edited by G. B. Markelov, who is known in Russia as a fine scholar, icon painter and member of the Ancient Literature Department of The Russian Literature Research Institute (also called Pushkinskii Dom). The two volumes comprising this book set contain 500 old drawings that were for many years searched out at various libraries, museums, archives and private collections in Russia. These books contain the amplest atlas of high-quality specimens of Old Russian drawing technique -- the technique that has never been thoroughly studied and duly appreciated.
Icon prorisi and perevody -- imprints and transfers -- which could be also translated as reverse and direct patterns respectively -- are drawings on paper which meticulously reproduce the outlines of icon compositions. Prorisi and perevody served as an additional source for creating strictly canonical images to many a generation of Russian icon-painters.
The book contains old iconographical subjects as well as subjects used in modern services. They are arranged according to the commonly accepted clerical hierarchy of images: the Holy Trinity, The Savior, the Virgin, St. John the Baptist, the Apostles, the Prophets and other characters of the Old Testament, the main Church Festivals, the most prominent saints, the female saints, the parable episodes, etc. Many icons are presented right next to other versions of the same iconographical "type" which sometimes reveal essential stylistic and theological discrepancies. Each pattern is reproduced in its full size and that renders the book a valuable source comparable to a facsimile edition. The majority of patterns have never before been published.
The plates are preceded by a Preface that provides information on the history of paper patterns in Old Russian Art, discusses the methods of making and using prorisi and perevody in traditional icon painting, and includes a bibliography and glossary of special terms. Each plate is followed by a corresponding attribution and a reference to its present location. A special section gives iconographical comments that clarify the meaning and the subject matter of each depiction. The book also contains various kinds of indexes for any kind of useful reference. Russian text is followed by complete English translation, except the appendix and notes sections which is Russian text only.
Availability: Out of print.