Ukrainian Baroque architecture

18 Jun
The St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, although started in 1113, represents one of the most typical examples of Ukrainian Baroque architecture. Kiev Pechersk Lavra- Gate Church of the Trinity Kiev Pechersk Lavra- The reconstructed Cathedral of the Dormition, as seen in 2005.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra- Up-close view of the Great Lavra Belltower with its four tiers in 2005. Kiev Pechersk Lavra- Side view of the Church of the Saviour at Berestove seen with its campanile, designed by architect Andrei Melenskyi in the Classical style. St George Cathedral and refectory in Vydubychi
     
Ukrainian Baroque or Cossack Baroque is an architectural style that emerged in Ukraine during the Hetmanate era, in the 17th and 18th centuries.Ukrainian Baroque is distinct from the Western European Baroque in having more moderate ornamentation and simpler forms, and as such was considered more constructivist. Many Ukrainian Baroque buildings have been preserved, including several buildings in Kiev Pechersk Lavra and the Vydubychi Monastery in Kiev.

The best examples of Baroque painting are the church paintings in the Holy Trinity Church of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. Rapid development in engraving techniques occurred during the Ukrainian Baroque period. Advances utilized a complex system of symbolism, allegories, heraldic signs, and sumptuous ornamentation.

Certain features of the Ukrainian baroque, such as bud and pear-shaped domes, were borrowed by the similar Naryshkin baroque movement in 17th-18th century Moscow.

 
Baroque. A movement in art that originated in Italy at the end of the Renaissance in the 16th century and spread throughout Europe in the 17th century. The baroque period was a period of grand projects and complex ideas and designs, which gave rise to artistic forms that were intended to lift the spectator above daily existence to lofty and esoteric experience.The baroque in art and architecture. The works of the period, particularly the architectural works, are marked by rich, flamboyant forms, filled with pathos and a striving for the supernatural and spiritual. In baroque architecture, luxuriant, decorative portals, fronts, and gates, overloaded with unrestrained ornamentation, are common.

In Ukraine the baroque style emerged during the Cossack period and assumed some distinctive features. For this reason it is known as the Ukrainian baroque or the Cossack baroque (end of the 17th to the beginning of the 18th century). Ukrainian baroque architecture, in contrast to the predominantly decorative style of Western Europe, was more constructivist, more moderate in ornamentation, and simpler in form. Numerous examples of church and secular architecture in the Ukrainian baroque have survived: the buildings of the Kyivan Cave Monastery; Zaborovsky Gate near the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv; the plaster decorations of the main church of the Kyivan Cave Monastery; the church of Adam Kysil in Nyskynychi in Volhynia; the palaces in Zbarazh, Berezhany, and Bar; the military chancellery from Ivan Mazepa’s period in Chernihiv; Danylo Apostol’s residence in Sorochyntsi; and many others. The carvings of the baroque period are represented by such examples as the Bohorodchany iconostasis from the Maniava Hermitage and the iconostases of the main church of the Kyivan Cave Monastery and Saint Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv. The best examples of baroque painting are the church paintings in Holy Trinity Church of the Kyivan Cave Monastery, Paradise in the Elevation of the Cross Church of the Cave Monastery, as well as iconostases and portraits. During the period of the Ukrainian baroque, engraving underwent rapid development. It utilized a complex system of symbolism, allegories, heraldic signs, and sumptuous ornamentation. In the applied arts and in ornamentation folk motifs were used, giving the ornamentation a particular originality.

Dmytro Chyzhevsky, Volodymyr Sichynsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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