Connect with us

Culture

The Amazing Colored Churches in the Kremlin of Rostov the Great

Voice Of EU

Published

on

This article is from a series by the invaluable William Brumfield, (Wikipedia), Professor of Slavic Studies at Tulane University, New Orleans, USA.

Brumfield is the world’s leading historian of Russian architecture.  He makes frequent trips to Russia, often to her remote regions, and records the most unusual examples of surviving architecture with detailed, professional photography.  

His most recent book is a real treasure, Architecture At The End Of The Earth, Photographing The Russian North (2015). (Amazon).  This truly beautiful book was made possible by the support of a US philanthropist, and its true cost is 3 times its retail price, and we can’t recommend it highly enough.  Here is our 2015 review of it.

Bravo to RBTH for making Brumfield’s work possible, and providing such a great platform for his beautiful photography.  We recommend visiting the RBTH page, which has a slide show for each article with many more pictures than we can fit in here.

Don’t believe in miracles?  Well, we can assure you, Brumfield’s work is undoubtedly just that.


At the beginning of the 20th century the Russian chemist and photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky invented a complex process for vivid, detailed color photography (see box text below). Inspired to use this new method to record the diversity of the Russian Empire, he photographed numerous architectural monuments during the decade before the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917.

Certainly among the most colorful structures Prokudin-Gorsky photographed is the Church of the Hodegetria Icon in Rostov Veliky, which he visited in 1911. My own photographs of this church were taken during several visits between 1987 and 2012.

Located some 130 miles northeast of Moscow, Rostov Veliky (the Great) is one of the earliest historically attested towns in Russia, first mentioned under 862 in the chronicle “Tale of Bygone Years.” Its main architectural ensemble is the majestic kremlin, which rises above the north shore of Lake Nero.

Rostov kremlin. Northwest corner tower & Church of the Hodegetria Icon, south view. July 12, 2012. Summer 1911.  / Photo: Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky                                                          Rostov kremlin. Northwest corner tower & Church of the Hodegetria Icon, south view. July 12, 2012. Summer 1911. / Photo: Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky

The kremlin’s original designation was the Court of the Metropolitan, in recognition of its primary builder, Metropolitan Jonah of Rostov. After the Patriarch, Metropolitan is the highest ecclesiastical rank in the Russian Orthodox Church. Jonah Sysoevich (ca. 1607-90) was the son of a country priest named Sysoi. Tonsured at the Resurrection Monastery in Uglich, he rose through the monastic hierarchy, and in 1652 was appointed Metropolitan of Rostov by the newly elected Patriarch Nikon in Moscow.

Rostov kremlin. Northwest corner tower&Church of the Hodegetria Icon, southeast view. Oct. 4, 1992. / Photo: William Brumfield

Rostov kremlin. Northwest corner tower&Church of the Hodegetria Icon, southeast view. Oct. 4, 1992. / Photo: William Brumfield

Jonah had at his command villages with some 16,000 peasants, as well as the best craftsmen and artists of a large, prosperous diocese. Within 20 years — between 1670 and 1690 — Jonah’s builders erected not only several large churches and residences for the Metropolitan’s Court, but also the kremlin’s magnificent walls and towers.

After Jonah’s death in 1690, his work at the kremlin was continued by the Metropolitan Josephat, whose buildings included a church dedicated to the Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God. The Hodegetria Icon, which depicts Mary holding the Christ Child on her left arm and pointing to the infant with her right hand, is one of the most venerated objects in Russian Orthodoxy. A particularly notable example was held in the Dormition Cathedral in Smolensk.

Rostov kremlin. Church of the Hodegetria Icon, south facade, window details. August 21, 1988. / Photo: William Brumfield

Rostov kremlin. Church of the Hodegetria Icon, south facade, window details. August 21, 1988. / Photo: William Brumfield

Diamond accents

Completed in 1693 at the northwest corner of the kremlin walls, the Rostov Church of the Hodegetria Icon underwent modifications in the 18th century. However, its basic form, featuring a single cupola and an open gallery on the upper floor, remained. The exuberantly painted diamond pattern on its exterior was apparently instigated by Afanasy Volkhovsky, bishop of Rostov from 1763-1776, who was known to be fond of “Moscow Baroque” ornamentalism. 

Rostov kremlin. Church of the Hodegetria Icon & Church of the Resurrection, southwest view. Aug. 7, 1987. / Photo: William Brumfield

Rostov kremlin. Church of the Hodegetria Icon & Church of the Resurrection, southwest view. Aug. 7, 1987. / Photo: William Brumfield

The diamond pattern was originally imported to Muscovy by Italian architects at the turn of the 16th century. The earliest example is the “Faceted” or “Rusticated Palace,” completed with diamond rustication in the Moscow Kremlin in the 1490s. Although the diamond pattern had an enduring appeal in Russia, local builders rarely applied it in carved stone. It proved much easier to paint the facets on brick walls as a colorful trompe l’oeil. The surge of ornamentalism at the end of the 17th century saw a revival of this technique throughout Muscovy, from Kostroma to Sergiev Posad. The Rostov church is a late example.

Later history

With the death of Josephat in 1701, little else of note was built in the Rostov kremlin. Skilled masons throughout Russia were drafted into the construction of St. Petersburg, founded in 1703. With the transfer of the regional metropolitanate from Rostov to Yaroslavl in 1787, the Rostov kremlin began to decay. 

Rostov kremlin. Church of the Hodegetria Icon, south facade, upper level&gallery. Aug. 21, 1988. / Photo: William Brumfield

Rostov kremlin. Church of the Hodegetria Icon, south facade, upper level&gallery. Aug. 21, 1988. / Photo: William Brumfield

Fortunately, in the late 19th century Rostov merchants gathered funds to maintain the kremlin ensemble. In 1883, the White Chamber, built as a banquet hall for the Metropolitan of Rostov, opened as a museum of church antiquities that was the predecessor of the current distinguished Rostov Kremlin Museum. Thus, through local pride, Metropolitan Jonah’s visionary project was preserved for Prokudin-Gorsky and subsequent generations. A comparison of my photographs of the Hodegetria Church with those of Prokudin-Gorsky shows few changes over the decades.

A notable difference just beneath the roof is the disappearance of a row of iconic wall paintings, with a large image of the Virgin of the Sign (Znamenie) in the middle. It is not clear when they were originally created, but such exterior paintings were usually effaced during the Soviet period.

Rostov kremlin. Northwest corner tower & Church of the Hodegetria Icon, view from Metropolitan's Chambers. Aug. 7, 1987. / Photo: William Brumfield

Rostov kremlin. Northwest corner tower & Church of the Hodegetria Icon, view from Metropolitan’s Chambers. Aug. 7, 1987. / Photo: William Brumfield

Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines

Source link

Culture

Census 2022 – what difference does it make?

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Next Sunday, April 3rd, is Census night. Millions of people in homes countrywide will fill in page after page of questions, some of which are deeply personal and many of which might be unfamiliar.

But what it is it all about?

At a basic level, Census 2022 will be used to inform planning of public policy and services in the years ahead, according to the Central Statistics Office.

The questions will cover a range of environmental, employment and lifestyle issues, including the use of renewable energy sources in homes.

The questions will help inform policy development in the areas of energy and climate action, and the prevalence of internet access, to understand the availability of and need for internet connections and range of devices used to access the internet.

Questions also focus on changes in work patterns and will include the trend of working from home and childcare issues, while questions are also asked about the times individuals usually leave work, education or childcare, to help identify and plan for transport pattern needs locally and nationally.

Other topics covered include volunteering and the type of organisations volunteers choose to support, tobacco usage and the prevalence of smoke alarms in the home.

And of course there is a time capsule – the chance to write something which will be sealed for the next 100 years.

In this episode of In The News, the head of census administration Eileen Murphy and statistician Kevin Cunningham about what it all means for us.

Source link

Continue Reading

Culture

Oscars 2022: Will Smith makes Oscar history after slapping Chris Rock over joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith | Culture

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Will Smith took the Oscar for Best Actor at last night’s 94th Academy Awards, but he also became the protagonist of the ceremony for other reasons. The night was following the script, until Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on the stage after the latter made a joke about the shaved head of the former’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock had quipped that he was “looking forward to GI Jane 2,” in reference to her look. Pinkett Smith has revealed publicly that she has alopecia. It looked as if the moment had been planned, until Smith went back to his seat and shouted: “Get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

The moment, which immediately became Oscar history but for all the wrong reasons, left the attendees with frozen smiles, and asking themselves whether it was possible that a veteran such as Smith could have lost his cool in front of tens of millions of people. After taking the prize for Best Actor, the superstar actor made a tearful apology, saying that he hoped the Academy “will invite me back.” Later on, actor Anthony Hopkins called for “peace and love,” but it was already too late. The incident overshadowed the success of CODA, which took the Oscar for Best Picture. Just like the time when Warren Beatty mistakenly named La La Land as the big winner of the night, no one will speak about anything else from last night’s awards.

At first sight, Smith’s actions looked as if they were scripted. When he first heard Rock’s joke, he laughed. But his wife was seen on camera rolling her eyes, and it was then that the actor got up onto the stage and hit Rock. When he returned to his seat he raised his voice twice to shout “Get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” sending a wave of unease and shock through the attending audience. The fact that he used the f-word, which is prohibited on US television, set alarm bells ringing that this was real and not a planned moment. In fact, the curse word was censored by the broadcaster, ABC, in the United States.

During a break, Smith’s PR manager approached him to speak. In the press room, which the actor skipped after collecting his prize, instructions were given to the journalists not to ask questions about the incident, Luis Pablo Beauregard reports. The next presenter, Sean “Diddy” Combs, tried to calm the situation. “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve this – but right now we’re moving on with love,” the rapper said.

When Smith took to the stage to collect his Best Actor award for his role as Richard Williams – the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena – in King Richard, he referred to the character as “a fierce defender of his family.” He continued: “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do you’ve got to be able to take abuse, and have people talk crazy about you and have people disrespecting you and you’ve got to smile and pretend it’s OK.”

He explained that fellow actor Denzel Washington, who also spoke to Smith during a break, had told him: “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

“I want to be a vessel for love,” Smith continued. “I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern. I want to apologize to the Academy and all my fellow nominees. […] I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams, but love will make you do crazy things,” he said. He then joked about his mother, who had not wanted to come to the ceremony because she had a date with her crochet group.

The Los Angeles Police Department released a statement last night saying that Chris Rock would not be filing any charges for assault against Smith. “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the statement read. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”

On December 28, Pinkett Smith spoke on social media about her problems with alopecia. She stated that she would be keeping her head shaved and would be dealing with the condition with humor. “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends… Period!” she wrote on Instagram.



Source link

Continue Reading

Culture

House-price inflation set to stay double digit for much of 2022

Voice Of EU

Published

on

House-price inflation is expected to remain at double-digit levels for much of 2022 as the mismatch between what is for sale and what buyers want continues.

Two new reports on the housing market paint a picture of a sector under strain due to a lack of supply and increased demand driven by Covid-related factors such as remote working.

The two quarterly reports, one each from rival property websites myhome.ie and daft.ie, suggest asking prices accelerated again in the first quarter of 2022 as the stock of homes available for sale slumped to a new record low.

Myhome, which is owned by The Irish Times, said annual asking-price inflation was now running at 12.3 per cent.

Price

This put the median or typical asking price for a home nationally at €295,000, and at €385,000 in Dublin.

MyHome said the number of available properties for sale on its website fell to a record low of 11,200 in March, down from a pre-pandemic level of 19,000. The squeeze on supply, it said, was most acute outside Dublin, with the number of properties listed for sale down almost 50 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels.

It said impaired supply and robust demand meant double-digit inflation is likely until at least mid-2022.

“Housing market conditions have continued to tighten,” said author of the myhome report, Davy chief economist Conall Mac Coille.

“The broad picture of the market in early 2022 remains similar to last year: impaired supply coupled with robust demand due to Ireland’s strong labour market,” he said.

Soure: MyHome.ie

“One chink of light is that new instructions to sell of 7,500 in the first 11 weeks of 2022 are well up from 4,800 in 2021, albeit still below the 9,250 in 2019. The flow of new properties therefore remains impaired,” said Mr Mac Coille.

“Whatever new supply is emerging is being met by more than ample demand. Hence, transaction volumes in January and February were up 13 per cent on the year but pushed the market into ever tighter territory,” he said.

He said Davy was now predicting property-price inflation to average 7 per cent this year, up from a previous forecast of 4.5 per cent, buoyed strong employment growth.

Homes

Daft, meanwhile, said house asking prices indicated the average listed price nationwide in the first quarter of 2022 was €299,093, up 8.4 per cent on the same period in 2021 and and just 19 per cent below the Celtic Tiger peak, while noting increases remain smaller in urban areas, compared to rural.

Just 10,000 homes were listed for sale on its website as of March 1st, an all-time low. In Dublin, Cork and Galway cities, prices in the first quarter of 2022 were roughly 4 per cent higher on average than a year previously, while in Limerick and Waterford cities the increases were 7.6 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.

The report’s author, Trinity College Dublin economist Ronan Lyons, said: “Inflation in housing prices remains stubbornly high – with Covid-19 disturbing an equilibrium of sorts that had emerged, with prices largely stable in 2019 but increasing since.

“As has been the case consistently over the last decade, increasing prices – initially in Dublin and then elsewhere – reflect a combination of strong demand and very weak supply.”


Business Today

Get the latest business news and commentarySIGN UP HERE

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!