The Culture of Muscovite Russia: 15th-17th centuries

Room 151

The exhibition begins with archaeological material of the twelfth to
seventeenth century found on excavation sites in Moscow. The fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries are represented in the Hermitage by a limited
number of items, reflecting but a few of the aspects of the cultural develop-
ment of Muscovite Russia, a strong centralized state which had unified
the various lands of Russia. Particularly deserving of attention are the
fifteenth century icons Scenes from the Life of St Nicholas of Zaraisk,
Scenes from the Life of St Demetrius the Warrior, The Last Judgement, a
sixteenth century icon, and some details of architectural decoration and
fragments of ornamented stone slabs. Among the examples of craft work
are some specimens of sixteenth century silversmiths' art notable for the
great skill with which they were made. Two works, The Apostle and The
Bible, by the first Russian printer, Ivan Fiodorov, indicate the develop-
ment of printing in Russia (horizontal case near the window). The ad-
jacent case contains hand-written and printed books dating from the
seventeenth century-an alphabet book by Karion Istomin and a gram-
mar by Melety Smotritsky, in which the traditional Church Slavonic
texts are rendered less formal by the introduction of colloquial Russian
forms. The visitor's attention will be aroused by the hand-written book,
Tituliarnik (a book of titles), which is decorated with water-colour por-
traits of Russian grand princes, tsars, and also Western European mon-
archs. The Tituliarnik was commissioned by tsar Alexey Mikhailovich
for the young Peter.

One of the most outstanding items in the exhibition is the map of
Siberia, painted on cloth in 1698 by the scholar and geographer Remezov,
who adhered to the system of Oriental cartographers and placed the south
uppermost, the north at the bottom, the west on the right and the east on
the left. The map amply conveys the peculiar features of this distant
region, indicates the towns of Tobolsk, Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk, and the
settlements and nomad encampments of the Yakuts, Evenks and

The exhibition ends with a display of late seventeenth century art,
in which of particular interest is the icon St John the Winged Precursor
painted in 1689 by Tikhon Filatyev, a fine painter of the Moscow school.





The Culture of Old Russia: 6-th-15th centuries
The Culture of Muscivite Russia: 15th-17th centuries
Russian Culture: 1700-25
Russian Culture: 1740-1800
Russian Culture: 1800-60
Russian Semiprecious Stoneware

- The Hermitage - The History of the Museum -
- The Hermitage - The Department of Russian Culture -
- The Hermitage - The Department of Prehistoric Culture -
- The Hermitage - The Department of the Art and Culture of the Peoples of the East -
- The Hermitage - The Department of the Art and Culture of Antiquity -
- The Hermitage - The Department of Western European Art -
- The Hermitage - The Numismatic Department -
- Floor Pans -