Tile art collection

The tile art collection that includes a variety of ceramic items (such as bricks, facing and roofing tiles as well as glazed tiles) numbers over 14,000 objects. The collection provides an opportunity to trace the long history of the Russian tile art from its origin to the present days. The tile art collection includes items fromMoscow,Yaroslavl, Ustyug,Vologda,Kaluga,Vladimir, and other well-known centers as well as samples of European and Oriental ceramics.

The collection includes the oldest ceramic glazed tiles that were used to decorate buildings of Kievan Rus in the X – XI centuries, relief terracotta tiles that replaced the traditional Moscow white stone carvings at the end of the XVcentury, as well as the first oven tiles (the so-called “red tiles”) with a special fixing projection on the back side that were used for decorating ovens at the end of the XVI century.

Terracotta tile, a décor element from the Church of the Deposition of the Robe

inMoscowKremlin,

1485-1486

Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the Front Gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye

Oven tile, end of the XVI — beginning of the XVII century

Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the Front Gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye

Most templates from the collection date back to the XVII century, the golden century of the Russian tile art, when relief colourful tiles were invented and became widespread. The collection comprises many various green glazed tiles as well as multi-colour templates including those that made part of the exterior décor of Moscow churches such as the Church of St. Nicholas in Stolpy (1669), the Church of St. Nicholas Revealed on the Arbat Street (beginning of the 1680s), the Church of St. Adrian and Natalya (1688), the Church of St. Cosmas and Damian in Sadovniki (1689) and the Moscow Main Pharmacy (1699-1701). Facing ceramic panels depicting Evangelists and made by a Moscow master at the end of the XVII century take a particular place in the collection.

Glazed tile from the TrinityChurchin Kostroma,
Moscow production, the 1660s

Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the Front Gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye

 Bird and Fruits ceramic panel,
a décor element of the bell tower of the Cosmas and Damian Church in Sadovniki,
Moscow, 1689

Masters. Russian Builders’ Art and Technique in XV-XIX Centuries exposition at the Atrium Hall of the Depositary in Kolomenskoye

Luke the Evangelist ceramic panel, end of the XVII century

‘Masters. Russian Builders’ Art and Technique in XV-XIX Centuries’ exposition
at the Atrium Hall of the Depositary in Kolomenskoye

Mark the Evangelist ceramic panel, end of the XVII century

 

A tiled oven of that time (one of the few that have been preserved inMoscow) was transported from theChurchofMichaeltheArchangelin the Foreign Quarter and now is exhibited in the Chancellery located at the Front Gate in Kolomenskoye.

Tiled oven from theChurchofMichaeltheArchangel

in the Foreign Quarter,

the 1680s

Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the Front Gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye

The oven tiles of the XVIII century exposed in the museum were made with the help of the enamel painting technique. Tiles of this type that replaced Old Russian templates reflected new, ‘more vivid perception of the world’ and showed that man’s idea about his place in the world had changed. Mikhail Vrubel’s masterpiece, the Mikula Selyaninovich and Volga tiled fireplace created in 1898, offers a new artistic interpretation of Old Russian traditions and testifies that at the end of the XIX century Russian masters turned back to the clay art.

Mikula Selyaninovich and Volga fireplace
(M. Vrubel, 1898)

Masters. Russian Builders’ Art and Technique in XV-XIX Centuries exposition
at the Atrium Hall of the Depositary in Kolomenskoye

Ceramic tiles produced at the Soviet Union times (first of all those depicting Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin as well as workers, steelmakers, the Red Army soldiers, etc.) are the latest examples illustrating the 1,000-year Russian tile art history represented in the museum.

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