RICONTRANS Project

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    ‘Saints and Soldiers’ 19th-Century Russian Religious Art in Southern Bulgaria
    (Muzeul Naţional al Unirii Alba Iulia, 2021) Nikolov, Angel
    L’article clarifie l’histoire de plusieurs pièces du patrimoine mobile de deux institutions monastiques fondées par des citoyens russes en Bulgarie pour commémorer la bravoure et l’héroïsme des soldats et officiers russes tués pendant la guerre russo-turque de 1877-1878 : le Monastère de l’Ascension, avec son église ‘Saint-Alexandre Nevsky’, construite entre 1879-1882 sur ordre du célèbre ‘général blanc’ Mikhail Skobelev sur les collines de Bakadzhik, près de Yambol ; et le Monastère de la Nativité à Shipka, construit (et probablement con- sacré en 1902) à l’initiative de la mère du général, Olga Skobeleva, par un comité directeur dirigé par le diplomate et homme d’état russe Nikolai Ignatiev.
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    Russian Icon Marketing in Transylvania as a Means of Political and Social Destabilization
    (Departamentul de Istorie, Arheologie și Muzeologie, Universitatea „1 Decembrie 1918” din Alba Iulia, 2021-12-15) Dumitran, Ana ; Dane, Veronka ; Rus, Vasile ; Wollmann, Volker
    The sale of mass production Russian icons in Transylvania is known only through the events at the time and after Horea’s Uprising of 1784-1785. Quite at the beginning of the uprising, a group of three Russian icon merchants is caught in the plaza of Aiud, being suspected of having spread among the Orthodox Romanians in the Principality the news that an imminent attack of the Russian army will happen. A large-scale investigation was ordered by the Aulic Chancellery on March 31, 1785, to determine whether the rumor of the imminence of this attack was true. The documents issued by this investigation allow for the reconstruction of the route taken by Russian pedlars in 1784, offer minimal information on the selling strategy, which only partially confirms the fear of the authorities, as well as on the appearance of the pedlars and the icons they sold. Finally, the Aulic Chancellery recommended a ban on trade with Russian icons, and on July 28, 1785, the imperial decree banning Russian pedlars from entering the Habsburg Empire in the future was issued. Traces of their passage through the Principality have been found in insignificant numbers, whereas the ban helps to date to the last decades of the 18th century the few Russian mass production icons identified in museum collections and as a result of field research.
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    Itinerant Suspicions: Russian Icon Traders in the Macedonian Hinterland Through the Eyes of Greek Consuls and Agents
    (Departamentul de Istorie, Arheologie și Muzeologie, Universitatea „1 Decembrie 1918” din Alba Iulia, 2021-12-15) Kostopoulos, Tasos
    Itinerant Russian icon traders, colloquially known as afenya, one of the main channels through which various objects of Russian religious art found their way to the Ottoman-dominated Balkans, were seen by Greek nationalists during the late 19th century as the spearhead of a Panslavist thrust designed to hit Hellenism’s soft religious underbelly. Two sets of documents from Greek diplomats and their agents in the Macedonian hinterland, dealing with two emblematic incidents involving such Russian traders, shed light on this trade, its features and its reception by local communities at the era of Balkan national revivals
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    Russian Miter of Jerusalem Patriarchs (17th Century)
    (Saint Petersburg State University, 2019) Chesnokova, Nadezhda P.
    The archival records of the Posolsky prikaz (Ambassadorial office) in the Russian State Archiveof Ancient Acts (RSAAA) contain evidence for the intensive contacts between the Jerusalem patriarchand the Russian government in the first part of the 17th century. The file on the Moscow visit of the Jerusalem patriarch’s envoy, Archimandrite Anthimos, in 1643 has been preserved with unique completeness.This provides new details on the works included in the order: the list of icons and materials used, the names of icon-painters and silversmiths, information about the organization of the artistic process as a whole and, finally, the cost of the materials and works executed. The miter of the Jerusalem patriarchs was made four years after a similar item was created in the Kremlin’s workshops in 1640 for the archbishopof Sinai. After leaving Moscow, the miter was altered in a way. It remains nowadays in the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai. Originally, the lower diadem of the Sinai miter was ornamented with fur. Moreover, there was no cross on the upper round patterned plate. The gem stones were added during the alteration. While decorating the miter, the Moscow masters had used pearls only. The sources say the Sinai miter was just a reproduction of an existing exemplar created earlier by court masters. The Jerusalem patriarch’s headdress was based on the same sample. Thus, we can imagine how the Jerusalem miter looked before its alteration, although there were some differences between it and the Sinai example. As we have already mentioned, the top of the Sinai miter was decorated with pearls, not gem stones, unlike the patriarchal headdress
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    Studying Russian Icons in the Balkans
    (ISTORIYA, 2021-06-21) Boycheva, Yuliana
    The Russian religious artefacts - icons, liturgical utensils, veils, vestments and books and objects of private piety, held in museums and church or monastery collections in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean constitute a body of valuable art objects, and important material evidences related to the historical development of the relations between Russia and large region of South-Eastern Europe. This piety objects comes continually to the region for a long period through official, unofficial and private donations, or by pilgrimage and trade. Applying the cultural transfer approach in combination with the recent theoretically challenging openings of art history into visual studies and social anthropology RICONTRANS studies them not simply as religious or artistic artefacts, but as mediums of cultural transfer and political and ideological influence, which interacted with and were appropriated by receiving societies. Their transfer and reception is a significant and poorly studied component of the larger cultural process of transformation of the artistic language and visual culture in the region and its transition from medieval to modern idioms. In this dynamic transfer, piety, propaganda and visual culture appear intertwined in historically unexplored and theoretically provoking ways.