The Archangel Cathedral

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The oldest and most noteworthy fresco in the Archangel Cathedral is “The Archangel Michael and His Acts” painted in the late 14th or early 15th century. The unknown artist show the Archangel clad in armour with a raised sword in his hand. The dynamic swing of the figure, the powerful wings and the stern visage create the image of a warrior prepared for battle. The ideas of eternal struggle between the good and the evil, spiritual perfection and the defence of the native land, so popular in Early Russian art, have found expression here.

For several centuries the Archangel Cathedral was one of the most revered churches in Moscow. The princes and tsars came here to play their respects to the ancestors before starting out on military campaign. The Cathedral holds forty-six tombs of members of the families of the Russian grand princes and tsars, covering the period from the 14th century to the first third of the 18th century. Crucial stages in the history of the Russian state are associated with the names of many of those entombed here, such as the unification of the Russian lands under the aegis of Moscow undertaken by Ivan Kalita in the 14th century; the stubborn struggle against the Tartar-Mongols and the victory won over them in the Dmitry Donskoy and Vladimir Khrabry; the consolidation of the Russian state and the growth of its international prestige in the 15th and 16th centuries under Ivan the Third and Ivan the Terrible, and also the Russian people’s heroic liberation struggle in the 17th century in which the name of troop commander Mikhail Skopin-Shuysky figures prominently. The interments are under the cathedral floor. On the surface are the burial monuments, white tombstones engraved with fine ornament and memorial inscriptions. In the beginning of this century they were enclosed in glazed metal casing.

Resting by the south-eastern pillar under a carved white-stone canopy is Tsarevich Dmitry, Ivan the Terrible’s son who perished in Uglich in 1591. After routing Pseudo-Dmitry the First’s troops in 1606,the remains of Tsarevich Dmitry were moved to the Archangel Cathedral. The tombstone is surrounded with an openwork grating, a remarkable monument of the casting art of the first third of the 17th century. Preserved in the altar are the relics of the holy martyrs Prince Michail of Chernigov and Boyar Fyodor who perished in the in the Golden Horde in 1245.

In 1963-64, on the decision of a special commission, the graves of Ivan the Terrible and his sons Ivan and Fyodor buried in the chancel section of the Cathedral were opened, and anthropologist M.M. Gerasimov created sculptural portraits of Tsar Ivan the Terrible and Fyodor Ivanovich on the basis of the skeleton remains.

At present the unique monument of Russian history and culture is a museum where optimum conditions are provided for keeping the icons, frescoes and diverse church attributes in a good state. The museum’s research personnel are studying both the history of its construction and the works of art preserved here. At the same time, the Archangel Cathedral continues to be one of the most revered sanctuaries are help regularly several times a year.

The Archangel Cathedral will remain forever a living witness of the history of the Kremlin, Moscow and the Russian state and immortal evidence of the talent of its builders and artists who were able to express in architectural forms and painted images the people’s boundless love of their mother country.

Реферат опубликован: 20/04/2008