In Search of a Missing Frame. An Episode from the History of Printing in Ruthenia
W poszukiwaniu zaginionej ramki. Epizod z dziejów drukarstwa na Rusi
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large architectonic frame encompassing the space of a leafis one ofthe most recognisable elements embellishing books published by Ivan Fyodoroy. The frame, arcade in character, built in two projections and enclosed in a perspective outline, is an original and innovative motive in the developing Cyrillic printing. Although its innovative form copies the composition of the German engraver Erhard Schoen, owing to its positioning on the title page of the first print of the Bibie in Old Church Slavonic (Ostróg 1581), it constitutes a elear and representative symbol of modern Ruthenian culture until today. Fyodorov used it in three books, after which it disappeared without tracę. However, its copies appeared again in Vilnius prints, not only Orthodox but also Protestant and Catholic. The above-mentioned fact attests to the universality of decorative elements which freely cross the borders of confession and culture. It also enables us to analyse contacts between printers of the largest cultural centres in the Commonwealth and tracę the roots of the spread of patterns and inspirations. Originally not containing any content, the discussed ornamental motif, owing to the famę of Ivan Fyodorov and high value of his prints, became a symbol of Ruthenian culture, which could be used by Vilnius printers for financial purposes, and perhaps ideological purposes in interdenominational polemics. There is no doubt that in the 20th century it was a elear carrier of national ideology, to which Ukrainian activists of culture and science referred.
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