Shumilova Khristina

Novgorodian Royal Gates of XV-XVIIth centuries with depictions of the Annunciation and two saint bishops

Shumilova Khristina (2014) "Novgorodian Royal Gates of XV-XVIIth centuries with depictions of the Annunciation and two saint bishops ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2014, vol. 16, pp. 63-84 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV201416.63-84


The main purpose of this work is to get an overview of number and safe state of Novgorodian Royal Gates of XV–XVIIth centuries with depictions of the Annunciation and two saint bishops — Basil the Great and John Chrysostom — from the collections of Russian museums as well as to analyze the iconography, to review variations of forms within the established cannon and to reveal specific features of Novgorodian icon-painting. Nineteen monuments which are kept in the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the Tret΄yakov Gallery, the Andrej Rublyov Museum, the State History Museum, the State Novgorod Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts of Republic of Karelia, the Pskov State Museum, the Vologda State Museum, the «Kolomenskoe» Museum-Reserve and private collections are reviewed in this article. As the result of the analysis of the group of Royal Gates in review following conclusions can be made: more than half of Royal Gates from this group have intricate and exquisite shape of the finial. As usual a finial has six blades with scallops — the shape which reminds its antitype — the shell a the symbol of the Virgin Mary. In fi nials the Annunciation is always depicted in two iconographic versions. On the leaves of Gates we see full length figures of saint bishops. Such depiction carries on Byzantian tradition — large scale and monumentality of the image. St. Basil the Great is depicted on the left leaf, and st. John Chrysostom — on the right one. Figures are placed symmetrically but not mirror-like, heads are inclined, bodies are three-quarter turned; saint bishops stare ahead, rarely on the viewer. On the most of the monuments garments are similar and vary only in color. In the hands of saint bishops there are scrolls with different liturgical texts. Based on investigation of this group of Royal Gates it can be concluded that this iconographic type was quite spread in the churches of Novgorod. Formed in the mid-XVth century this type survived without significant changes until the beginning of the XVIIth century.


the Old Russian art, Art of Veliky Novgorod, icon-painting, the Royal Gates, saint bishops, saint Basil the Great, saint John Chrysostom, the Annunciation, iconography.


1. Alpatov M. V. Sokrovishha Russkogo iskusstva XI–XVI vv. (Zhivopis') (Treasures of Russian Art of XI–XVI Cent. (Painting)), Leningrad, 1971.
2. Bol'shakov S. T. Podlinnik ikonopisnyj (Icon Handbook), Moscow, 1998.
3. Vasil'eva O. A., Lagunin I. I. Ikony Pskova (Icons of Pskov), Moscow, 2006.
4. Vahrina V. I. Ikony Rostova Velikogo (Icons of Rostov Velikij), Moscow, 2006.
5. Bilanchuk R. P., Veretnova Ju. V., Vinogradova E. A. et al. Ikony Vologdy XIV–XVI vekov (Icons of Vologda of XIV–XVI Centuries), Moscow, 2007.
6. Koscova A. S. Drevnerusskaja zhivopis' v sobranii Jermitazha: Ikonopis', knizhnaja miniatjura i ornamentika XIII — nachala XVII vekov (Old Russian Painting in Collection of Hermitage: Painting, Book Miniature and Ornaments of XIII — Begin of XVII Centuries), Saint-Petersburg, 1992.
7. Koscova A. S. Sto ikon iz fondov Jermitazha: Zhivopis' Russkogo Severa XIV–XVIII vekov (katalog vystavki) (100 Icons from Founds of Hermitage: Painting of Russian North of XIV–XVIII Centuries (Exhibition Catalogue)), Leningrad, 1982.
8. Mahan'ko M. A. 2004 “Vasilij Velikij” (Basil the Great), in Pravoslavnaja jenciklopedija, Moscow, 2004, vol. 7, pp. 131–191.
9. Poljakova O. A. Shedevry russkoj ikonopisi XVI–XIX vekov (Masterpieces of Russian Icon Painting of XVI–XIX Centuries), Moscow, 2010.
10. Sechin A. G. Matematika i izobrazitel'noe iskusstvo: simmetrija v narodnom i professional'nom iskusstve: na materiale kollekcii Russkogo muzeja (Mathematics and Painting Art: Symmetry in People and Professional Art: on Material of Collection of Russian Museum), Saint-Petersburg, 2010.
11. Sechin A. G. 2014 “Mnimoe odinochestvo kanona: «Dorifor» Polikleta v kontekste dialektiki edinichnogo i mnozhestvennogo” (Imaginary Solitude of Canon: “Dorifor” of Polyclete in Context of Dialectics of Single and Plural), in Fenomen odinochestva. Aktual'nye voprosy gigieny kul'tury, Saint-Petersburg, 2014, pp. 99–110.
12. Sizonenko T. D. 2000 “O vethozavetnoj simvolike carskih vrat drevnerusskogo ikonostasa” (About Old Testament Symbolic of Royal Door of Old Russian Iconostasis), in Ikonostas: Proishozhdenie — razvitie — simvolika, Moscow, 2000, pp. 502–517.
13. Smirnova Je. S. Zhivopis' Velikogo Novgoroda: XV vek (Painting of Velikij Novgorod: XV Century), Moscow, 1982.
14. Smirnova Je. S. Zhivopis' Obonezh'ja XIV–XVI vekov (Painting of Obonezh’je of XIV–XVI Centuries), Moscow, 1867.
15. Teterjatnikov V. M. Ikony i fal'shivki (Icons and Fakes), Saint-Petersburg, 2009.
16. Arsen'ev K. K., Petrushevskij F. F. (eds.) Jenciklopedicheskij slovar' F. A. Brokgauza i I. A. Efrona, Saint-Petersburg, 1898, vol. 24.
17. Ancient Russian Icons from Soviet Museums, Moscow, 1987.
18. Manson Chr. The George R. Hann Collection. Auction Catalogue, New York, 1980.

Information about the author

Shumilova Khristina