OLD BELIEVER APOCAPLYPSE (1)

MS 2623
MS Short Title OLD BELIEVER APOCALYPSE
Text BIBLE: REVELATION, WITH COMMENTARIES BY ANDREAS OF CAESAREA
Description MS in Russian Church Slavonic on paper, Russia, 1812, 242 ff., 43x26 cm, single column, (30x15 cm), 24 lines in Cyrillic uncial, headings and passages in red, 4 tendril-work headpieces in red and blue, 3 7-line (6 cm) opening red penwork initials, 74 full-page miniatures in full colours.
Binding Russia, 1812, blindtooled calf leather over bevelled wooden board, sewn on 6 cords.
Context For another Russian Old Believer Apocalypse of the same period, see MS 2010.
Provenance 1. Sam Fogg, London.
Commentary

The MS was made the year of Napoleon's defeat at Moscow, possibly as a replacement for libraries damaged in the war. It is remarkable for its great size and the quality of the paintings, made at a time when MSS had to compete aesthetically with printed books in terms of appearance.

The Apocalypse was not accepted into the canon of the Eastern Orthodox Church until the early 14th c. In Cappadocia there was an early attempt to rehabilitate the text with the commentary of Andrew of Caesarea ca. 613.

The artist of the present MS is influenced by the famous woodcuts by Dürer of 1498, the Cranach workshop for the Luther Bible of 1522, 1530 and 1535, and Holbein of 1523. But for the main part the artists of MS 2010 and 2623 follow the Byzantine-Slavonic tradition even if they are very different in composition and palette.

Following the schism in 1647 of the Russian Church, the Old Believers were often ruthlessly persecuted, many of their service books burnt or otherwise destroyed.

Exhibited Oslo Katedralskole 850 år, Jubileumsutstilling 10. – 14. March 2003.
Place of origin Russia
Dates 1812

Location