I - The two Virgins of Vladimir
Gift of the Patriarch of Constantinople to the Great Prince of Kiev in 1130, the "first" Virgin of Vladimir passed through all the hardships of the Russian people, as its talisman. Since 1930, she resides at the Tretyakov Gallery, and each year found her traditional place on the iconostasis of the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin. A copy of this model, dated around the year 1400, is located in Vladimir-Suzdal Museum. This second icon allows us to discover a new discipline, called Comparative Geometry, in a didactic way. Indeed, the comparative study of the geometrical composition of many works establishes constants. These geometric figures are the basis of sacred works, which they lead the composition. The graphic precision of these lines allows the measurement of numerical values, according to a grid, which opens to the language of interpretation.
The Virgin of Vladimir - env. 1400 - 102.2 × 69.5 cm
Museum of Vladimir-Suzdal - Russia (more)
We will study this second Virgin, dating from 1400. It could be from the hand of Andrei Rublev ? Comparative geometry will be a help in solving this issue still pending ...
II - The geometries
There are two types of geometry to build a painting, two practices in the art of composition. Their mathematical principles are the same, in terms of truth, and are those of "descriptive geometry". The best known is Perspective, which is the way to represent reality as it is, without error. This favorite geometry of architects do not assume the symbolic meaning of the figures. It is neutral, objective, and it serves effectively the will of the author. Perspective has emerged as a system of composition, along with print, face another system that used the same forms, but organized them in a different way : Sacred Geometry. This ancient culture does not respect the perspective, and its straight representation of reality. It assigns to the form a symbolic meaning which is a part of its identity. The measurement of the figures on a grid reveals this identity, and opens the door of human language. The ancients were not ignorant of perspective, they practiced a geometric language, considered as divine, idealistic, before that the perspective system made us forget the meaning of this geometry by its purely materialistic practice.
The logic of proportions makes reference to Sacred Geometry, but it is wrong. The composition system of Sacred Art is not just an ordinary story of "canons". The organization of forms between them is missing. A system is not a sum of figures but a real complex structure. The study of this complexity by Comparative geometry links periods, cultures that were apparently unrelated. The analysis shows that these schools share the same knowledge, the same intuition of the World. From Egypt to Dürer, from the Celts of Ireland and Russian schools of Novgorod and Moscow ...
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