St. George’s cathedral of Yuriev monastery: a historical and cultural panorama

Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novgorod Diocese, Russian Orthodox Church and Novgorod State United Museum-Reserve are calling for papers to be presented at an international conference devoted to the anniversary of the construction of St. George’s cathedral at Yuriev monastery.

Event date: 11–12 February 2020

Venue: Velikii Novgorod, Russia

In 2019, St. George’s cathedral turned 900. This majestic church was commissioned in 1119 by Vsevolod (Gavriil) Mstislavich, Prince of Novgorod. Hegumenon Kiriak of Yuriev monastery is known to have been directly involved in the construction. A later chronicle preserved the name of Peter the master builder who oversaw the construction. In 1120s and 1130s the cathedral was decorated with frescos, icons and churchware. The cathedral have since been several times expanded and rebuilt, but on the whole, is remarkably well-preserved. Over a course of time, a number of prominent scholars - such as M.K. Karger, A.I. Nekrasov, M.A. Ilyin, N.I. Brunov, A.I. Komech, V.A. Bulkin and V.D. Sarabianov - have studied this monument of architecture, which was restored by L.M. Shulyak and G.M. Shtender. Since 2013, the Novgorod Division of Architecture and Archaeology under the Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, has been working on the interior and the environs of the cathedral. New excavations have expanded our knowledge of its construction and architectural features, structural elements, monumental painting, and its cemetery. The resulting discoveries have firmly placed the cathedral within the archaeological and historical context of its time. Literally thousands of fragments of the original murals were collected. They preserved not only faces and apparel, but also some graffiti which contained new information for historians and linguists.

The conference will examine the issues related to St. George’s cathedral of Yuriev monastery, such as the building’s history, periods of its construction, its architectural forms and details, its reconstruction and restoration, monumental paintings, style and iconography. Also covered will be the history of the monastery graveyard, the texts of the graffiti on the church’s old plastering, as well as the style and artistic quality of the old icons which hail from the cathedral. In a more expansive vein, we welcome papers on archaeology of the cathedral and the whole of Yuriev monastery, including issues of stratigraphy, numismatics, sphragistics, material culture of this and other monasteries of Novgorod, and on separate finds and groups of items. Yet another research direction is the history of the cathedral and monastery. We welcome contributions covering different periods of their history, the role the monastery played in the history of Novgorod, its monastic life and events in the history of monasticism.

The conference titled “St. George’s cathedral of Yuriev monastery: a historical and cultural panorama” aims to sum up the current scholarly views of the cathedral and its history on the basis of a comprehensive studies of history, art and material culture of the monastery’s cathedral. Proceedings of the conference will be published as a separate volume in the “Architectural archaeology” series.

Organizing committee of the conference:  Vl. V. Sedov (Chair), N.V. Grigorieva, Bisphop Arsenii (Perevalov), P.G. Gaidukov, A.A. GippiusM.V. Vdovichenko (Deputy Chair), D.D. YolshinE.V. Toropova

Conference program