DOI: https://doi.org/10.32461/2226-3209.4.2015.138444

ST. GEORGE IMAGE IN THE KIEVAN RUS AND BYZANTINE ICONOGRAPHY

Ludmila Usikova

Abstract


This article deals with problems related to the hesychasm (through the aesthetic transposition of hesychastic ideas) on the development of Kyiv Rus heritage of iconography (using St. George Winner iconographic image as an example). St. George Snakes winner motive is a cultural complex that includes: myths and legends, epics, iconography (wall paintings, icons, coins, sculptures), hagiographic and liturgical texts, secular literature, the official church and state cult. The image of St. George the Victorious belongs to the iconographic embodiment of valor, courageous viable character. He is image of the eternal Orthodox army, made poetry in art schools of Kievan Rus.

Motive of George Conqueror is a cultural complex that includes: myths and legends, epics, iconography (frescoes, icons, coins, sculptures), hagiographic and liturgical texts, secular literature, the official church-state cult. The image of St. George the Victorious belongs to the iconographic embodiment of valor, courageous viable character. He is the eternal image of the Orthodox army, made poetry in art schools Kievan Rus.

The object of research is the idea hesychastic viability in the iconography of Kievan Rus. The subject of research is the iconographic image of George in the artistic culture and consciousness of Orthodoxy.

According to Greek and Latin Life, St. George – saint, martyr and soldier, patron of the Byzantine emperors. Mention of it is also apocryphal texts V century. and are in Islamic legends where Yuri (George, Yegor, Jurga) is one of the main figures that are not mentioned in the Koran.

St. George was born in the III Century in Cappadocia. He descended from the princely family. He was a brave soldier, who suffered severe tortures by profession and worship Jesus Christ died for the Christian faith. For this feat for the name of faith the Church called him Winner and canonized as a saint.

From the V century began the worship of St. George as a martyr, warrior, defender. Later George became the patron saint of the Byzantine emperors. Precisely because of worship of the Holy Martyr George in St. George Monastery began baptism of Kievan Rus, where Prince Vladimir accepted Holy Baptism in Crimea near Korsun (Chersonese).

Since then, St. George is the patron of Kyiv Rus princes. Name George is became one of the favorite in Kyiv Rus. The tradition of honoring St. George in Kievan Rus was borrowed from Byzantium and was spread with the adoption of Christianity at the end of X century.

Iconographic types of st. George studied in the context of the three main images of saints: martyrs (shown often in prayer), patron (holy warrior standing, leaning on a spear and shield, or warrior who sits with sword in hand); defender (saint rider on the horse, Winner, Victorious).

First martyrs perceived as persons endowed with special strength and sacrifice that can help and stand that reflects their primary role of mediation between God and worshipers. It is in this form of the martyr St. George represented the most ancient known his iconographic images.

Changing the status of a local martyr to emperor’s patron took place as in the cult of St. George and his iconography, after the iconoclasm (730-843 years), During the "Macedonian Renaissance" (867-1056 years).

Thus, by the middle of VII century. St. George depicted in the image of martyr and foot soldier iconographic type was formed in the X-XI. and prevailed in Byzantine art as the image of the patron (deputy) of the emperor. According to V. Lazarev, George iconographic type foot warrior with a spear in his right hand and a shield in the left image is analogous to the emperor on the full-length, such as coins and bullas.

As for Kyiv Rus iconography, it should be noted that the image of George on the throne was not peculiar to Kievan Rus (the picture is typical for Georgia, Serbia, countries with Catholic rite Christianity). More important for kyivorusian was the image of Winner-viable defender of the faith, even herald in armor warrior.

In ancient Kyiv Rus image George warrior traits predominate preacher of Christianity, a martyr: he held solemnly, his huge eyes burning fiery faith. Perhaps this was emphasized his patronage of princes who entered on the Rus a new doctrine.

In Kyivan Rus’s tradition of St. George, more than in Byzantium, added people's understanding of the valiant warrior, glorious warrior, a fearless fighter for the truth, the ideal viability. George Warrior was the favorite hero of folk art. Epic folk art in Ancient Rus, unlike Byzantium, played a huge worldview and culture-role in influencing the development of literature and arts. This influence can be seen in the evolution of the image of St. George, though not all parts of the process can be clearly traced.

Taking linking Christianity and its spiritual destiny of Byzantium, Kievan Rus took over the major spiritual traditions and values, the cult of Holy and the cult of worship hesychia, in prayer and in the iconography. Among sacred images the leading place belonged to the Holy Yuri Winner, heroic image which is deeply rooted in the territory of Rus-Ukraine, promoting religious and spiritual stature and confirming isyhastsku viability. The article is to analyze transpositions image of George Byzantine iconography in Kievan Rus in terms of implementation of ideas hesychasm and moral vitality in old art.

Then, in the Byzantine and Kyiv Rus iconography of Jury Winner considered as ideal vitality, inspired by the ideas of hesychasm. Under influence of spiritual practice and aesthetics of hesychia name of George has become one of the most popular in Rus–Ukraine and has not lost heroic semantics so far. The image of George long to our time and culture-plays a symbolic role.


Keywords


the art of Kievan Rus; the history of Ukrainian aesthetic thought; aesthetics of iconography; aesthetic transposition; hesychasm; "wise" prayer; George the Victorious