Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky
of color solutions of medieval
Published in Russian: Заграевский С.В. История цветовых
решений средневековых укреплений Москвы. Электронная публикация: электронная научная библиотека «РусАрх»,
The author traces on the basis of
documentary, architectural, archaeological and iconographic data the history of
the colors of the fortifications of Moscow Kremlin, Kitai-Gorod,
The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program
and has not yet been edited.
So it can be used only for general introduction.
Color solutions the medieval fortifications of
First of all you need to touch the wooden fortifications of the Moscow Kremlin for the first time in documented history of Ancient Rus erected in 1156 when Yuri Dolgoruky, expanding and peoplewise up to the construction of Dmitry Donskoy and white walls towers in 1367-1368.
There are many information about what ancient wooden fortress were daubed with clay and bleached. In detail this question was investigated by V. V. Kostochki that caused the following examples1:
- pointing to the existence high wooden tower that stood on a stone base in the middle of the Hill in town 1259, the chronicler noted that she is "as white as cheese, svetyasheesya on all sides;
- clay coating was made on the walls of the Tver Kremlin: informing that
- clay cover had outside the wooden walls of Zvenigorod;
- at the end of the sixteenth century the same cover existed on the fortifications of the Great Bow: advising that these fortifications consisted of bulwarks, cut out huge and very sturdy logs", R. Ladenstein noted that they "have been covered with turf, but according to the old custom were covered with clay";
- fragments of clay cover at the end XVI century remained dilapidated wooden walls of Mozhaisk.
Unfortunately, these research V. V. Coloccini almost no resonance in the
popular the literature has not received, and all reconstructions wooden
But we have to pay for these studies are the closest attention, as the daubing with clay defended fortifications from rotting and fires (both urban and generated by the assaults of the enemy), and lime whitewash, in turn, defended the plaster and attached to the wooden fortifications more aesthetic appearance. And overall care fortifications - though made of wood, but the face, the pride and protection of the city - in the or less could not be done, and whitewash and plaster were important part of that care. Probably before daubing-building sheathed the TES or lathing.
All said not to apply the town quickly grew and flourished in the
pre-Mongolian time, and at the end XIII-the first half of the fourteenth
In 1367-1368, with Dmitry Donskoy fortifications of the Moscow Kremlin were built of white stone. According to archaeological and historical sources, they are partially remained wooden2, but as the tree, as we have seen, were daubed clay and bleached, the General colour of the Kremlin was white. (Or, as we have discussed above, conventionally-white, and this conventionality is not only wooden, but also to the white stone fragments of fortifications: in several decades after the construction of the white stone walls blackened from soot furnaces and frequent fires).
Perhaps in the Kremlin the fortifications of the tree does not even daubed with clay, and plastered building solution (lime with the addition of sand and various additives), as massive white stone building was formed by a huge amount debris that could burn through lime. Plastered wooden the walls look even more aesthetically pleasing than covered with clay (example, when plastered the tree is very difficult to distinguish at a glance from plastered brick, we see arranged in the end of XVIII century wooden reels Assumption Cathedral in Dmitrov).
On plaster could even to be held furrows, imitating white stone quadras
(similar techniques simulation of masonry in the pre-Mongolian time was applied
in Novgorod St. Sophia Cathedral3, in
By analogy with wooden serf architecture and wide practice of plastering, whitewashing and painting wooden buildings in the nineteenth century, we can put that idea on reconstructions all ancient wooden Church and civil architecture in black and brown color scheme (color of unpainted logs) too controversial, and many buildings were daubed with clay, and in the presence of lime - was structuralist and bleached (or even painted) inside and outside in the same order that and strengthening: aesthetics, preservation of wood, fire security. But the question plastering, whitewashing and painting of the templeand civil wooden architecture is beyond the scope of this study, dedicated military architecture.
For the Russian North, where the climate contributes to the preservation of wood and over time gives it a noble silver hue, all of the above relative to the plaster and whitewash not so important. But for the climatic conditions of the middle band, disastrously affecting, and the safety and appearance of unprotected wood - relevant to the full extent.
In 1485-1516 years, when Ivan III and Vasily III, were built new Kremlin walls and towers from brick. According to architecture and archaeology, at the beginning of the XVI century brick laying was stuctures and not bleached (examples - the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin5 (ill. 2), the first temples of Alexandrov Sloboda6 (ill. 3), etc.). Accordingly, existing in our time, strengthening the Kremlin originally had a brick red color.
The walls and towers of Moscow The Kremlin remained brick red throughout the sixteenth century, as evidenced by the plan Herberstein 1556 (ill. 4) and thumbnails Facial Chronicles 1560-1570-ies (ill. 5-8).
In 1535-1538, were built brick-building of China-Town. Detailed descriptions and image of the XVI century is unknown, but by analogy with the Kremlin walls and towers we may assume that kitaigorodskii strength also did not structuralist and not bleached. However, this question remains open.
Il. 2. The Archangel Cathedral of
Il. 3. Trinity, now
Il. 4. Plan Of
Il. 5. Ivan sends ambassadors to
Il. 6. Ivan the terrible and Tsar's icon-painters. Miniature Facial Chronicles. 1560-1570-ies.
Il. 7. The construction of the Cathedral of intercession on the Moat. Miniature chronicle arch. 1560-1570-ies.
Il. 8. The consecration of the Cathedral of intercession on the Moat. Miniature Facial Chronicles. 1560-1570-ies.
the reign of Feodor, in 1585-
About the origin of the name "White City" there is a theory that since this was the territory where XVI-XVII centuries lived mainly nobles and gentry who were on permanent society, the land occupied by their yards, was called "white", i.e. was exempt from land taxes, which are levied "black" land artisans, merchants and farmers8. But crucially for us the fact that the strengthening of the White City were white in the literal sense of the word: in the writings of foreigners who visited Moscow in the early seventeenth century (S. GAIS, Prince John S. Mackiewicz, etc)9 they say that the wall was whitewashed, even plastered (the latter, however, V. V. Kostochki called the doubt, believing that foreigners could take whitewash for plaster)10.
after the fortifications of the White city, in 1591-1592, were built of wood
walls and towers
If wooden fortifications Excavation of the City was black and brown, we've been asking this "color hierarchy" fortifications of Moscow: the Kremlin and Kitay-Gorod - red (and the word "red" was synonymous with "beautiful", were red emblems and Vladimir, and Moscow great princes), of White City, white Earth City - black.
But the version of this "hierarchy" we don't can accept for the following reasons.
any sources nor The Kremlin, nor
Secondly, sometimes found in literature the name of Earth City "Black City" is because in the Northern and Eastern parts of its territory were "black" (crafts and trade settlement11.
Thirdly, neither "Petrov drawing" 1597-1599, (ill. 9) or the "Godunova the drawing" the early 1600-ies (ill. 11), neither "Sigismunda" 1618 (ill. 12) or other plans of Moscow XVII century significant difference between the color of the Kremlin, Kitai-Gorod, White City and Earth City is not observed.
situation can be explained as follows: almost simultaneously with the
fortifications of the
These considerations are confirmed by the plan of the Kremlin 1600-1605, "Cramlington" (ill. 10), where brick-red fortifications clearly legible traces of whitewash.
Thus, we have the right to believe that at the turn of XVI-XVII
centuries all fortifications of
Why were whitewashed not only wooden and brick building, with brick walls and towers in whitewashing, by and large, did not need, and V. V. Kostochki showed12, what in Russia stone fortress, as a rule, not bones and not bleached?
thoughts emanating from aesthetics and symbolism of the color white, there is
unlikely since no news about the special role of color in ancient sources,
there is, unlike red (above we have already noted that in Russia the word
"red" was a synonym the words "beautiful", were red emblems
and Vladimir, and Moscow Grand princes). We must assume that the reasons
whitewashing brick fortifications of
is thus achieved aesthetic uniformity of colors all Moscow fortifications (other way of achieving such uniformity could be the only painting of walls and towers Earthen City in red, but it was impossible due to rarity, high cost and low lightfastness of red paint);
- plastered and because whitewashed wooden walls and Earthen towers of the City looked almost the same as whitewashed strengthening of the Kremlin, Kitai-Gorod and the White City, probable the enemy could take them for stone and afraid to storm them;
- whitewashing modestly but increase the safety of masonry.
Il. 9. "Peter's drawing"
Il. 10. "Kramlinger". 1600-1605 years.
Il. 11. "Godunov's drawing". The beginning of the 1600's.
Il. 12. "Sigismundo plan of
How often it was renovated whitewashing of fortifications
In XVIII-XIX centuries periodical whitewashing
The Strengthening Of The White City were demolished in the 70-80-ies of the XVIII century, Excavation of the City - after 1812, China-Town (except for a brief excerpt) - in the years 1927-1934, and walls and towers of the Kremlin were until the beginning of the great Patriotic war, when camouflage purposes on them was a picture of residential building (ill. 33). After war (before the Victory Parade) these images have been washed away (ill. 33), and since then fortifications of the Moscow Kremlin were only red, and as restored in 1968-1973 and 1995-2000 fragments of the fortifications of China-Town.
Il. 13. The Moscow Kremlin on a miniature from the Book "on the election to the throne of Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov". 1670-ies.
Il. 14. The Moscow Kremlin on a miniature from the Book "on the election to the throne of Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov". 1670-ies.
Il. 15. The Moscow Kremlin on the
icon by Simon Ushakov "the Tree of the
Il. 16. The
Il. 17. P. Picard. The
Il. 18. J. Quarenghi. The
Il. 20. J. Gelabert. View of
Il. 22. I. Weiss. The
Il. 23. I. Weiss. Ilyinsky gate of China-Town. The mid-nineteenth century.
Il. 24. S. Shuhvostova. Spasskaya tower in the picture. 1855.
Il. 25. P. Vereschagin. View Of The
Il. 26. The red square. Photo 1880.
Il. 29. Wall Of China-Town. Photo 1900.
Il. 30. The
Il. 31. The Nikolskaya tower of the Moscow Kremlin. Photos of 1910.
Il. 32. Athletes parade on red square. 1932.
Il. 33. "Disguised" the Kremlin during the great Patriotic war.
Il. 34. Victory day parade on red square. 1945.
1. Kostochkin Centuries Russian the defense architecture of the end of XIII - beginning of XVI century. M., 1962. S. 202.
2. Read more: G. I. Mokeev An ancient fortress of the combined type. In the book: Problems of theory and history architecture. M., 1973. P. 72-85.
3. The information on the web site http://www.mmkv.org/istoriya-drevnerusskoi-zhivopisi-str37.html.
4. Rappoport P. A. Construction production of
Ancient Rus (X-XIII centuries).
5. Kavelmaher centuries On the aisles The Archangel Cathedral. In the book: The Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. M., 2002. P. 123-160.
6. Kavelmaher Centuries Of Antiquity Alexandrova Sloboda (collection of scientific papers). M., 2008.
7. "Solovetsky chronicler wrote: "In
the summer 7097 (1589 - Sz). The same year was done on the White city
8. P. V. Sytin From history
12. Kostochkin Centuries Russian defense architecture... P. 203.
© Sergey Zagraevsky