Woodwork

The woodwork collection of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve that counts over 2,000 items is one of the most interesting and significant in the museum stock.

Exhibits that were handed over to the museum in the 1920s and the 1930s make the core of the collection and include the Holy gates, gilt cornices, columns, capitals, cartouches, carved window frames, and crosses most of which were made by the Moscow Kremlin Armoury Workshop masters. At the same time wooden plastic works dating back from the XVII century to the second part of XIX century replenished the museum stock till the middle of the 1950s thanks to scientific expeditions to the Northern regions of Russia and Nizhny Novgorod Region. This part of the collection mostly includes various décor elements of peasants’ izbas (doors, cornice planks, window frames and vergeboards) that came from various sources including theStateHistoricalMuseum, churches ofMoscowand Moscow Region, scientific expeditions, private collections, etc. A small but very interesting part of the stock comprises monuments of the wooden architecture of the XVII-XIX centuries.

The Holy gates notable for their artistic representation are the gem of the woodwork collection. They illustrate all the stages of the Old Russian carving art from the end of the XVI century till the first quarter of the XX century. A Holy gate of the XVIII century makes a marvelous example of high-relief carving.

Holy gate
XVIII century

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

 

An amazing example of beautiful and complicated ornamental carving is a polychrome portal from thevillageofChekuevo, Arkhangelsk Region. This portal of the perspective projection type is richly decorated with relief and open work, icons in complicated star-shaped cases, and gilt elements. The masters used various materials such as wood, isinglass and metal.

Portal

End of the XVII century – beginning of the XVIII century

VillageofChekuevo,ArkhangelskRegion

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

 

Large-sized architectural complexes take a special place in the collection and include a passage gate from the Nikolo-Rezvansky Monastery in Peremyshl, Kaluga Region, built in1747, inmetropolitan Platon Levshin’s time during Empress Elizabeth’s reign, and the gate of the house of a well-doing peasant Khoshev, Nizhny Novgorod Region, that was made by woodwork masters in the second half of the XIX century.

Passage gate

1747

Nikolo-Rezvansky Monastery, Peremyshl,KalugaRegion

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

Gate of the house of peasant Khoshev

Second half of the XIX century

Nizhny NovgorodRegion

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

 

One of the monuments most amazing in craftsmanship and representation technique is a pole with buttress and carved hand-shaped supporters made in the XVIII century in Arkhangelsk Region and used to support a beam system. The pole richly decorated with ball-shaped elements (‘dynki’ or ‘water melons’), ‘plaits’, ‘bouchons’ and paintings is an example of small-sized architecture masterpieces made by masters from the Northern regions of Russia.

Pole with buttress and carved hand-shaped supporters

XVIII century

Church refectory of thevillageofShemenichi, Arkhangelsk Region

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

 

Carved house elements of the middle and second half of the XIX century mostly include cornice planks depicting sirin birds, lions and Pharaoh mermaids against rich floral ornaments as well as carved window frames made by master Nesterov from thevillageofKaravaevoin Gorodets district, Nizhy Novgorod Region.

Cornice plank

Second half of the XIX century

Nizhny NovgorodRegion

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

 

Carved window frame

Second half of the XIX century

VillageofKaravaevo, near Gorodets, Nizhy Novgorod Region

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

 

In recent years, new items replenished the museum stock, among them a wardrobe made in the first half of the XIX century, presumably by German masters who followed the example of the so-called Hamburg cabinets of the XVII century that were designed in Baroque style and became widely-spread not only in Germany but also abroad, notably in Russia during the reign of Peter I.

Wardrobe

First half of the XIX century

Reconstructed halls of thePalaceofTsar Alexey Mikhailovichin Kolomenskoye

 

Thus, the collection of decorative and applied art items from the woodwork collection of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve has been formed thanks to intensive collecting activity of the museum staff. Being one of the most significant collections of Russian wooden plastic work it allows to see the whole beauty as well as richness and uniqueness of iconographic, stylistic and technological methods used in wood carving from the XVI century to the first quarter of the XX century.

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