Рукописная книга: традиция и современность

"Ikonopisnyy podlinnik" are special handbooks for icon-painters containing information about the iconography of saints and various compositions, as well as information about the technique and technology of the icon-painting process. "Ikonopisnyy podlinnik" may also include facial contour images of figures, composition schemes, or ornamental fragments. Occasionally, could be used other names: "obraznik" (the term focuses our attention on the image ["obraz"-ikon] itself, the image) and "personal'nik" (derived from the Latin "persona" – person, personality).

In itself, the phenomenon of an artistic handbook is by no means unique only for medieval Russia, but is common characteristic of all traditional visual cultures with valid forms of religious art. Hindu, Buddhist and Christian cultures have their own traditional visual art that reproduced standard iconographic forms in accordance with certain technical and technological requirements. The imperative to imitate time-honored examples gave rise to specific forms of artistic teaching from iconography guidebooks.

However, despite the presence of common typological parallels in each cultural area, iconography guidebooks had their own distinctive features in medieval Russia. More ever, "Ikonopisnyy podlinnik" based on the principles of Byzantine artistic practice, but represent a special phenomenon that is not known even in Byzantine and Post-Byzantine culture.

It should be noted that "Ikonopisnyy podlinnik" are not only codices bound into books, but also collections of various "prorisi" (tracings) and "perevody" (transfers), considered as a single complex. Such collections of iconography examples could be intertwined into book blocks later. Such an approach to collections of standards of iconography drawings quite utility in accordance with icon painting practice: it is much easier to work with a portable icon-drawings and to make another copy from it.

"Ikonopisnyy podlinnik", first of all, are technical-applied literature: in sensible icon-painting originals, descriptions of the appearance of saints are the main integral part. These descriptions are compiled according to special rules, observing the sequence of listing various physiognomic features, figure proportions and other iconographic attributes. First of all, the age of the saint is indicated (young, middle-aged, old). Next, the hair color is described (blonde, dark blonde, slightly gray-haired, black-gray), after a general description of the facial expression (image is beautiful, the face is clean, the eyes are tender) and the shape of the hairstyle and beard (the hair is short, curly, rounded).We note in particular that much attention is paid to the descriptions of the beard in the podlinnik , which is apparently associated with traditional ideas about this part of the male vegetation as a measure of dignity and honor. Also, in order to save writing material and for the convenience of using the reference book, the authors of the podlinnik resorted to brief comparative characteristics based on the principle of similarity of one (little-known) saint with another (more popular). At the same time, either the appearance of the prototype as a whole, or its specific most expressive (for a male face) detail, namely the beard was noted. Therefore, from time to time you can meet formulas like "like St. Nikolas beard" (that is, like Nicholas the Wonderworker).

After the characteristics of the figure and face, a description of the clothes is placed, indicating the colors (patriarchs (i. e. forefathers) robes, he top is crimson, the underside is azure, girded with a fly from the right shoulder under the left hand); further, iconographic attributes are defined that indicate the nature of the feat and the status of the depicted persons (the archangels have wings, a mirror sphere; the apostles have the gospel; the martyrs hands a cross; the monks in mantles, hoods and paramans can hold a scroll in their hands; saints bishops - in the episcopal hat, phelonion or sakkos, with an omophorion and epitrachelion; patriarchs (i. e. forefathers) and prophets - holding unfolded scrolls; warriors - in armor, with a sword, spear or shield, etc.). In the illuminated "litsevoy podlinnik», unlike "tolkovyy podlinnik", the main content is graphic images of saints with brief comments. However, this division is conditional, because since the XVIIth century combined versions of podlinnik have also been known. They including both interpretive articles and drawings of iconographic schemes.

Naturally, the above dry verbal portraits do not contain narrative lines, theological theses, and many other characteristics that make up the dignity of ancient literary monuments. However, podlinnik were most often collections in which the central "core", consisting of miniatures with drawings or verbal descriptions, was overgrown with additional articles of various contents. These additional articles constitute the true literary merit of the Ikonopisnyy podlinnik: introductory articles of theological and didactic content; excerpts of a hagiographic nature; interpretive articles on complex iconographic compositions. In this way, the original acquired the virtues of a codices of a compiling nature, covering various literary forms: apologetics, hagiography, and theological exegesis.
Most of "Ikonopisnyy podlinnik" contains introductory articles. Their content is different, but subject leads to a common principle ̶ to justify the usefulness, high purpose and antiquity of iconography craft. These principles are translated by various small texts, as a rule, retellings or quotes other works and sources.

For example, semi-legendary stories set out How "Ikonopisnyy podlinnik" appearance in Byzantium, or evidence of the Russian "ikonopisnyy podlinnik" to the Byzantine tradition continuity, can be placed in the foreword of the podlinnik:

"... to this day, in the holy mountain of Athos and in other holy places, there are wonderful menaion holy icons ... from the same menaion icons and this "podlinnik" was wrote off by painters in words in the charters... "

Sometimes a polemical anti-iconoclastic text could be placed at the beginning of the iconography podlinnik, reminding the reader of the victory of the iconodules over the heresy of the iconoclasts. In the Old Believers "podlinnik" one can sometimes find a special kind of instruction to icon painters, warning against the use of new, not consecrated by antiquity, iconographical schemes and compositions. A similar exhortation, corresponding to the spirit of the Old Believer polemical literature, can be read in the Original of Bolshakov with illustrated church calendar ("Saints"):

"It is not appropriate for Orthodox Christians to accept iconic imagination from unfaithful and foreign Romans and Armenians people; if ... it will be icons appeared after the schism of the church, accepted by Greek from the Romans, and then, whether it will be beautiful a lot and artful, do not worship them, since they are from the wrong hands, but their essence is subject to impurity".

There are cases when the initial article contains an extract from the decrees of Stoglav' council (the statutes of the council held in Moscow in 1551), namely from its 43rd chapter, which regulates the practice of icon painting. For example, the same article placed in the original short "Grand princely" edition of the beginning of XVII century. According to F. I Buslaev, the icon-painting original appeared as a result of the decisions of the Stoglavy council, therefore the decisions of the latter regarding icon painting were used as prefaces.
The genre of interpretive articles developed in the Vito century and later became part of the Azbukovniks (special type of compilative cyclopedia in medieval Russia) and some of the version of podlinnik. "An interpretive article is a short text that not only describes a complex didactic, allegorical composition, but also explains its meaning".

So, in the above-mentioned the brief "Grand princely" podlinnik edition, an article is placed with interpretation of symbolical program of the "Savior the Unsleeping Eye" (Christ Anapeson) composition, borrowed from Tolkovaya Paley, where it penetrated from the "Physiologist" (i. e. bestiary). According to the interpretation, Christ is likened to a lion, which is born dead and rises on the third day; the lion is always awake, because he sleeps with one looking eye, Similarly, Christ rested in the flesh, but was awake in his divinity. The "Klintsovsky podlinnik" contains an interpretation of the eight-pointed nimbus of the Lord Sabaoth dating back to the Vito century. According to this exegesis, Lord Sabaoth is "the Creator of the seven centuries (aeons) and the Father of the eighth century". There are also interpretations of other sophisticated iconography: The Last Judgment, Sophia the Wisdom of Lord, etc.
Often, the descriptive characteristics of the appearance of saints were supplemented with excerpts from hagiographic literature, for example, prologue readings. For convenience, these excerpts are usually located in references by month and date. In addition to hagiographic notes, icon-painting originals (already in their most ancient editions) also included technical instructions, similar to those that can be found in Greek Herminiums: about gesso and drying oil, about gilding, about paints, etc.
The genealogy of the iconography podlinnik is sometimes traced back to antique times. Antique heritage is usually seen in special principles for describing appearance of saints, correlating with ancient Greek and Roman literary portraits, known as econismos (εκονισμος). These descriptive characteristics were used in the preparation of official documents. Later, in the V-VI centuries. this bureaucratic formula began to be used in didactic and hagiographic literature already as an artistic device.

Facial minologies, ekphrasis and erminias can be considered Byzantine predecessors of the Russian icon-painting "podlinnik". Facial minologies, i.e. brief lives of saints arranged in calendar order and decorated with miniatures, were used as iconographical guidebooks by Byzantine icon painters. They are closest to the Russian facial "podlinnik": both of them were systematized in calendar order and contained visual iconographic material. In ekphrasis as a genre of artistic description of a natural or architectural view, one can see the typological correlation with Russian descriptive characteristics in explanatory «tolkovy podlinnik». In Byzantium, technical and technological guidebooks by name "erminia" were also used. In Russia, "erminia" did not become widespread, however, in additional articles placed in extended editions of some "podlinnik", there are recipes and presentations of the chronological process of iconographical craft.

Since the earliest icon-painting originals that have come down to us date back to no earlier than the 16th century, the question naturally arises whether they existed at an earlier time and how they appeared and entered the practice of Russian icon painters. According to I.P. Sakharov, the ikonopisnyy podlinnik appeared in Russia in the Piths century with Byzantine painters who muraled the Cathedral Church of the Assumption in the Kiev - Pechersck Monastery. Sakharov supported his opinion with a reference to the "Tale of the Foundation of the Pechersck Church" from the Kiev-Pechersk Paterikon:

"Craftsmen and scribes, which under monastic vows were, whom bones have put in a porch, their scrolls are being now on the high-floor (polaty) and books from Greeks are kept for a sake."

F. I. Buslaev believed that the ikonopisnyy podlinnik arose as a response to the decisions of the Stoglavy council, which regulated, among other things, the icon-painting process. Moreover, he believed that in the beginning it was precisely the front icon-painting original that existed, and only then, as a less costly counterpart, the "sensible" one was created.

Even if the "ikonopisnyy podlinnik" existed before, the Vito century was definitely an important stage in the development of Russian iconography, including icon-painting guidebooks. This era is associated with the rapid development of iconographical assortment and arising special interest for the theoretical issues of the iconic image. Here we can recall the glorification of the host of Russian saints at the Moscow councils of 1547 and 1549, which required the development of the iconography of the newly-beatificated persons; the aforementioned Stoglavy council, whose participants discussed issues of the practice and theory of icon painting, as well as the "search" that followed it in the case of Dyak Viskovaty, which in fact was the first serious controversy in Russia about the theoretical and theological foundations in iconography (1553 - 1554). Thus, the "Makaryevskiye" councils could serve as a reason for replicating icon-painting guidebooks as standards that could protect the icon painter from the danger of perverting a high theological idea with an incorrect pictorial interpretation.

The most ancient icon-painting guidebook dated of the 16th century. - Sofiysky podlinnik. Its articles are arranged in calendar order from September to August (according to the Orthodox church tradition). This codex has no additional articles, dedicated to special holidays or icon-painting technique. In addition to the Sofia redaction, the "Stroganov" and "Siysk" podlinnik are known, as well as the Moscow edition, later - the alphabetical edition, which differed from others by systematizations of the material in alphabetical order. Also known are the "Grand Duke's" edition, the "pervoye svodnoye"(first consolidated), "vtoroye svodnoye"(the second consolidated), Klintsovskaya, Palekhovskaya and other editions of the "tolkovyy"(explanatory) ikonopisnyy podlinnik.
Already in the second half of the XVIIth century, peculiar hybrid forms of "litsevoy (illustrated by drawings of outlines of flat images) ikonopisnyy podlinnik" appeared. It combines not only prorisi (tracings) and perevody (transfers), but also engravings. For example, the Siysk iconography podlinnik contains foreign engravings. More ever books with engravings illustrations of Western origin began to be used as drawly standard in iconography. Thus, engraved Dutch Bibles (for example, the "Piscator Bible") gained great popularity from the last quarter of the XVII th century. They were used very often as iconography podlinnik. Moreover, the demand for Dutch engravings, executed by the dynasties of Piskators, Veriks, Sadalers, hadn't been depleted for more than a century and a half: from the last quarter of the XVIIth century to the middle of the XIXth. The number of icons and wall paintings based on the Dutch engravings is colossal. Also miniatures of numerous editions of the Publishing house of the Kiev-Pechersk Monastery were widely used as iconography examples, as also other productions of South Russian and Ukrainians printing houses. Iconography was also directly influenced by the widespread wall printed religious sheets as well as a "spiritual" popular print ̶ "lubok".