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Pskov School

Pskov SchoolThe majority of monuments of ancient painting haven't reached up till now, but northern Russian grounds are exception. They have not undergone in 13 century to such destruction, as the others. Pskov and Novgorod have kept bases of their culture, but quantity of the icons, which have reached up till now is rather limited.

The history of old Pskov was always connected with the struggle for independence. The "little brother" of Novgorod seems to have been always fighting against foreign invaders, even though, like Novgorod, Pskov was not affected by the Mongol conquest.

Pskov icons display less sophistication and artistry in execution than those of Novgorod, but they show a greater degree of poetic inspiration. Pskov icons have their own, particular style. The frescoes of Mirozhsky monastery were painted in a static and formal archaic manner. The icons of Pskov show a somber, but intense emotionalism. With time, the style of Pskov icons evolved, incorporating some elements from the Novgorodian art. From Novgorod the painters borrowed certain favorite topics and learned the use of strong outlines which increased the graphic quality of tPskov Schoolheir work. The earliest Pskov icons were monumental but the painters skillfully used intense colors (different from the toned-down colors of Kievan School) and created compositions with a strong rhythmic quality, often sacrificing the elegance of proportions to the dynamism of action. The painters of Pskov had a number of favorite compositions which they liked to replicate. Like the Novgorodians, they favored St. Nicholas and Elijah, but they also found inspiration in the stories of Christ's descent into Hell, the Nativity, and the Synaxis (gathering) of the Virgin. One of the distinguishing factors of Pskovian icons is the painters' preference of the deep "Pskovian" red and the deep "Pskovian" green.

Traditions of the Pskov School of icon painting were not gone. Nowadays there are icon paiting workshops in the Pskovo-Pechorian monastery, created by Father Zinon.

The name of father Zinon has become a symbol of perfect icon painting, and a sign of revival of all orthodox art.

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