Old Russian Miniatures

This page is devoted to a series of reproductions of period manuscripts that appeared originally in the folio, Drevne-russkaia miniatiura, Moscow: Academia, 1933. The reproductions are mostly taken from religious manuscripts dating from the 15th to the early 17th centuries.

The copy of the folio used here is housed in the stacks of the University of Illinois and is gradually crumbling into dust. It belonged originally to the renowned historian George Vernadskii who worked for some time at Illinois.

The entire work consists of 100 reproductions with an attached book of commentary on each one. The eighteen examples here were chosen because they clearly showed the clothing of the people of the time and can be used for aiding reenactors working in this period. While most of the images are Biblical, the clothing styles are 15-17th century Russian. The commentary has been paraphrased and digested.

Table of Contents

6) Birth of Sergei Radonezhskii
10) Slavery of the Sons of Israel
12) Two Pictures: A) Offering of Tributes to Pharaoh; and B) The Atheist
13) Violence of Moscow Prince Ivan Danilovich and His Neighbors
14) Punishment of the Rostov Boiar Averkii
28) Various Soldiers
38) The Hermit
45) The Massacre of the Infants
56) Birth of Issachar and Zebulun
57) Wedding Feast of Esau
58) The Violence of the Israelites Against the Baa of Peor
59) Circumcision of the Men of Shechem
65) Plowing in Front of the Sergiev Monastery
66) Isaac Sows the Field With His Servants
67) Isaac's Reaping and Threshing
87) Sergei Radonezhskii in School
88) Presbyter Simeon in the Florentian Cathedral
89) Zodiac

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This page was updated on October 1, 2005