Tuesday, July 12, 2016

False mirror. On the St. Basil’s Cathedral, we look through the eyes of foreigners – Arguments and Facts

«The Church, which all foreigners and marvel that no one Russian did not bother to even describe in detail” – said about it Mikhail Lermontov . And he put the exact diagnosis. The fact that the lion’s share of all the myths and fictions of the main symbol of our country – the fruit of imagination of foreigners.

Expert blindness

Any schoolboy knows that a fierce Tsar Ivan the Terrible dazzle ordered architects who created the famous cathedral. The motive is simple: “… so that no one else from the kings of the earth are not able to build at such beauty.” Guides who love to show off this story, hardly realize that the two diplomats repeat the words of the XVII century, which in turn launched the legend.

All the foreigners in one voice say about it: “The Temple preizyaschnogo structure, apparently the Italian work.” They were hard to imagine that Russian are able to create something beautiful. Confidence that the Italians built, and created stories about blindness. The fact that the story about the violence originated with the masters just in Italy – there are similar stories to tell every little bit noticeable church. The concept of how “should” do with brilliant architects, was simply deferred to Russian soil. The dubious honor of the pioneers in this case belongs to the German Adam Oleary and Cech Bernhard Tanner . Before their “revelations” about the blinded masters have no one never heard of.

Procession of the Kremlin. At the place of execution you can see the Patriarch on a donkey. Dutch engraving, XVII century. Photo:? Public Domain

Mosque with bell

More recently, it became de rigueur to say that St. Basil has no relation to Russian architecture. Say, Ivan the Terrible, destroying Kazan Kul Sharif mosque, very sorry about it and wanted to play at something like that.

In such cases usually refer to the Islamic theologian Shigabutdin Marjani , who described the mosque as “a building with nine heads, aspiring upward.”

Initially, the cathedral looked different – a brick, white plaster, golden domes. Multicolor he received in 1670-ies.

The trick is that by the Kul Sharif mosque was left not that image, but even intelligible verbal descriptions. the Marjani himself lived and worked in the XIX century, so his story – just a fantasy on the theme

He could cling to the word Napoleon , shamefully departing from Moscow in 1812. Emperor of the French, devoid of artistic taste, then ordered: “Blow up the mosque with many bell towers in Red Square.” “Everything Asian” It is written clearly in a fit of rage. Neither before nor after Napoleon Europeans did not find anything in the eastern Russian church. Moreover, other compared it with Gothic buildings. That, incidentally, is also illiterate. Tent Basil – a purely Russian invention, and as evidenced by earlier and later tent church. Such nowhere else.


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