March 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 39 September 2012

History of architecture

Grigorash Alena V.

PhD student, Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry.
Research supervisor: Professor V.D.Dazhina, DSc. (Art Studies),
Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry,
Moscow, Russia, e-mail: grigoraschav@gmail.com


The article is devoted to the personal church of Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra in Darmstadt, built and decorated based on the sketches by Leon Benois and V.Vasnetsov. The author considers this monument not only as a "thing-in-itlsef" but also as a part of the ensemble of the German Artists’ Colony. A dialogue of cultures arises thanks to interaction between the will of the customer and of the artist, formal stylistic features, the semantics of space, temporal differences between the structures in the architectural ensemble, and synthesis of Russian religious and German secular cultures in the monuments of the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony.

The study is relevant to the current period because this monument has been little-studied by both Russian and international art historians. The church presents a typical specimen of foreign orthodox church at the turn of the 20th century. It is constructed in the neo-Russia style. The décor programme of the church contains iconic images of the Saints who are the patrons of the imperial family of the Romanovs. The dedication of the church to Saint Magdalene is a certain cultural compromise because this image is implanted in European culture deeper than in Russia. When building the architectural ensemble of the Colony, the German architects took into consideration the scale, colours and materials of the exterior decoration of the Russian church, and its location in the territory of Mathildenhöhe. The building of the Russian church was thus harmoniously integrated into one of the front sights of the Darmstadt Colony’s architectural ensemble. The author applied formal stylistic analysis.

Key words: church architecture, Russian chapel in Darmstadt, Darmstadt Artists’ Colony, Neo-Russian style

Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017