History of Russian mosaic

Mosaic Workshop / History of Russian mosaic
Russian art of mosaic is for us not only cultural but also historical value. In the ancient architecture of the widespread use of the mosaic belongs to X-XIII centuries. Mosaic arches, walls and floors of churches in Kiev gave them a special solemnity and beauty. Evidence of high level of development of this art, the maturity of Russian artists of skill and wealth of their creative imagination are extant examples of ancient mosaics.

One of the outstanding examples of old Russian Mosaic - St. Sophia of Kyiv (see article "Sophia Cathedral of Kiev"). Mosaic has become an integral part of the architectural ensemble, organic supplement and enrich the basic elements and forms. Striking monumentality of ancient mosaics, stretching along the majestic walls and vaults. Although an ancient mosaic of images and different forms of brevity, it created an atmosphere of color richness in structures of the time.

It was time to flowering of mosaic. Subsequently, a number of reasons, the art of mosaic has lost the old value. The ancient craft was in a forgotten for six centuries. Have been lost many of the secrets of creating "everlasting" painting, lost recipe smaltovareniya. How long faded interest in the mosaic as an art form. The artistic decoration of interiors and exteriors of buildings is a monumental painting. Only in the eighteenth century mosaic revival, thanks largely to the efforts of genius Mikhail Lomonosov.

The beginning of the revival of the ancient craft was Lomonosov' desire to get the recipe of uniform color glass mass necessary for the production of ferrous and non-transparent optics. After a long search, calculations and experiments, the scientist discovered the recipe manufacture of smalt. Thus, having colored glass to create a mosaic, Russian genius has opened a new era of "eternal" art. Lomonosov was obsessed with his idea, and after three years of hard work and four thousand of the most complex experiments was the long-awaited fruits. The result has been obtained smalt variety of colors - green, blue, turquoise, purple, brown and black. The result was an unusually rich color palette, from deep dark tones to delicate, almost transparent light shades. It was a great scientific discovery, which served as the development of art of mosaic.

After the discovery of the practical works of Governors moved into the sphere of creativity. In 1752 he created the mosaic, smalti recruited from their own production. It was the image of the Virgin of the original Italian painter Francesco Solimena. The first creative experience of the great scientist was quite successful. Mosaic composed of four thousand cubes of smalt. Then Lomonosov developed new technological methods and different devices, which allow to implement a set of mosaics of any size.

The interest of the scientist to the art of mosaic was dictated by the number of unique properties of glazes as art material - a rich palette of colors, resistant to atmospheric effects, the ability to maintain the original appearance for many years. All this is a favorable contrast to the mosaic of the oil painting. And, of course, Lomonosov was attracted by artistic mosaic expression of the monumental and expressive images.

In 1752 the Senate approved Lomonosov' idea of ​​the creation of the glass factory, which is why the scientist gave a sum of money and a monopoly on the production of colored glass in Russia. The factory consisted of many separate buildings: a laboratory furnace for the production of glass mass, space for a set of tiles, the so-called "mill" (dam and floodgates) drive system to maintain production. Thus, the factory was technically perfect example of the company, and soon began producing a diverse range of products. In addition to other small accessories, the factory was producing table tops, ink, snuff boxes, cups, decanters. Of course, the most important product of the factory was for colored smalt mosaic set. Bugle beads and were a tribute to fashion, and smalt was intended for high art.

Later in the workshop of Governors were born many masterpieces of mosaic: "Peter I» (1754), "P.I.Shuvalov" (1758), "Alexander Nevsky" (1758), "St. Peter" (1761), "M.I.Vorontsov "(1765). The crown of creative genius was the most complex multi-figure compositions for the panel "The Battle of Poltava" (1765).