Оrnaments with the meaning: ukrainian baroque


Trinity Gate Church in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the elegant St. Andrew’s Church – the pearl of the architecture of global importance, expressively decorated Mariinsky Palace, St. Michael’s Monastery and decorations Scythian ethnics TM – what do they all have in common?

They are united by the presence of Baroque elements. And Scythian ethnics TM dedicates one of collections to motives and symbols of Ukrainian Baroque. At various times, the term baroque included different concepts. For some time it was quite offensive tone, implying absurdity or nonsense. From the preceding style, Baroque inherited a dynamic and deeply emotional, and from the subsequent – solidity and splendor.?????? Непонятно, я б пропустив весь абзац. Ukrainian Baroque was born by turbulent social and historical circumstances: war of liberation in the middle of XVII century, the constant military campaigns, constant existence on the edge of life and death gave rise to the typical Cossack Baroque worldview. Active personalities, heroes and knights are typical in Cossack culture. Republican system and democratic principles of Cossack community allow researchers to treat them as knights-warriors, a kind of military-monastic brotherhood. Specific of Baroque art is development of a quasi-symbolic world. All characters, according to content, can be divided into two groups: heraldic and religious. Deep faith lead us back to a single character, not only of the Baroque, but Christian period in general – the cross. In heraldry, there are about 400 types of crosses, among which are: anchor cross, ankh, cross of Calvary, Celtic cross, cross bottony, Coptic cross, Chi-Rho, Teutonic cross, gamma-cross, Greek cross, Latin cross, cross of St. Peter. Baroque is noted also for use of many other symbols and images – those of garden, grapes, rowan, snakes, hearts, keys, books, light. One of the symbols of the Ukrainian Baroque was the sun. The sun was considered a symbol of power and symbolizes not only a source of heat, but also vitality, passion, courage, eternal youth, and as a light source – knowledge and intelligence.



Ukrainian Baroque decor tends to symbolic ornaments, enriching by symbols of native wildlife (root, oak leaves, flowers, vinca), floral ornament becomes an allegorical expression of a particular worldview typical for Ukrainian mentality. Image of nature, particularly plants, had decorative value, symbolized spiritual garden of blossoming virtues. In the Ukrainian Baroque there is also a symbol of “flowering tree” that symbolizes life, heredity, and historical development.



A second common floral baroque element is grape or vine. Grapes are considered a symbol of the spiritual life, fertility, rebirth. Vine – a symbol of Christ. In the Ukrainian Baroque one can find images of birds – hens, storks, ducks. One of the most common is pelican. It symbolizes the sacrifice, parental love and mercy. The special symbol of Baroque era – the heart – determines the depth of human soul and inner spiritual world. Along with symbol of the book in Ukrainian Baroque image of the key is often used. It’s a symbol of power, choice, freedom of action, knowledge and initiations.



Numbers also play a big role in Ukrainian baroque – 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 12. It was believed that the numbers don’t have an arbitrary meaning, but affect the construction of the compositions, defining the number of characters, the location of trees and shrubs, the number of architectural structures and details on the facades. The symbolism of numbers and geometrical figures has reflected on the principles of composition not only of some works of Ukrainian art and architecture, but also on jewelry and decoration motifs. Almost all elements of the Ukrainian Baroque are full of desire for eternity and perfection. The symbolism of the circle, ellipse, triangle, square, pyramid and arc is widely used in many compositions and had another clear manifestation of the symbolic dimension of Ukrainian Baroque art. So, to summarize – Ukrainian (Cossack) Baroque coming from Italy bring some European style features and add its own original elements. The peculiarity of this style is the usage of traditional art intertwined with innovative compositional techniques.

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