T. Laska, S. Golubkov
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018


Ancient Russian fine art is one of the main values of Russian culture, which has long and firmly occupied a worthy place among the world’s spiritual universals. The search for ways to recreate the integral type of artistic consciousness – a national and historical one, actualised by modern science - significantly increases interest in various manifestations of this powerful layer of the world cultural heritage, suggesting not only its study and mastering art techniques of old masters, but also preservation for future generations in any accessible format1.
This method encompasses the research and preservation of partially lost ensembles of mural painting. Copying has always been an integral part of comprehending an original work of art. Since the Renaissance, apprentices have copied the works of their masters, studying the laws of painting. Given this, copying can be called the most effective way of penetrating into the author’s work in all its totality, which presupposes the unity of form and content. In the process of copying, a work of art is very thoroughly analysed, which allows a very fact-based reconstruction of lost (or ruined) parts of art ensembles, thus opening new possibilities for fundamental science development.
The museums of Russia host collections of the best copies of frescoes, created at different times by specialists from copying workshops of ancient Russian painting. Especially important for research are those fresco copies that were made in churches before the destruction, thanks to which not only scientific, virtual, but also actual reconstruction of the original decoration system of the artistic ensemble becomes possible. Appreciation of the value of these methods, based on thorough mastering of the reproduced material, has become evident at present: a lot of unique artefacts of mural painting, destroyed during the Second World War, are being meticulously restored based on the copies made in the first decades of the 20th century.
The school of copying, which was formed in Russia in the early 20th century and became a unique phenomenon of national culture, practically ceased to exist in the second half of the century. However, as practice shows, copying does not completely replace other types of artistic documentation, neither does artistic training. So it becomes evident today that there is a need to revive and develop the copying school.

Keywords: ancient Russian art, frescoes, copying, restoration, reconstruction.

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