• Oldest Russian Art • Bronze and Iron Age Russian Art • Byzantine Russian Art • Art Under the Mongols • Muscovite Art • Icon Painting • Parsunas: Non-Religious Portraiture • Russian Art in the 18th Century • Russian Art in the 19th Century - History Painting - Religious Painting - Landscape Art - Still Lifes - Genre Painting - The Itinerant Painters • Modern Russian Art - 1890s Onward • Russian Realist Art • Russian Abstract Art • Russian Museums Fine art in Russia dates back to the Stone Age.The earliest known work of Russian/Ukrainian art is the Venus of Kostenky (c.23,000-22,000 BCE), a mammoth bone carving of a female figure, discovered in Kostenky (Kostienki), dating from the Gravettian culture.One of the most famous surviving examples of this early form of icon art, is The Virgin of Vladimir (c.1100), now in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

russian orthodox christian dating-60

Art historians believe that the Caucasus obtained its artistic know-how and traditions from Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), probably via Lebanon and the maritime trade route into the Black Sea.

Fifteen centuries later, that is around 1000 BCE, the Caucasus and Steppes of southern Russia gave birth to the first of several tribal migrations of Celts into eastern and central Europe.

Islamic architecture, as the next chapter shows, had taken at about this time - especially in Persia - the sensuous forms which suit the Russian temperament.

Four-centred arches, onion-shaped and heart-shaped domes, blind windows, and niche-like recesses, now occurred frequently in Russian architecture, and the new, bright colouring of roofs and cupolas can also be attributed to Asiatic influences.

This Iron Age art is exemplified by the famous Gold Bull of Maikop (2,500 BCE, Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg), which was discovered by archeologists in 1897 near the northern edge of the Caucasus mountains.

Standing roughly 3 inches high, and made of gold using the lost-wax process, it was excavated from what was believed to be a royal burial chamber.

It never, of course, competed with the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople; but with its shallow main cupola, and other secondary cupolas, and its two flanking towers at the west front, it was at that time the finest and richest church built in Russia under Byzantine influence.

Most churches were made of wood, which made fresco painting impractical.

The representations of the Last Supper, for instance, in the conventual church of St Michael in Kiev, finished in 1108, have the same over-elongated figures, with small faces, that are characteristic of Byzantine art at the same period.