Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
Nicholas Roerich
Estate Museum

in Izvara

N. Roerich «Ancient Finnish Churches»
Original in Russian

Page: 8 from 12

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It is incumbent upon us to try to set those murals free again. I believe such remarkable Finnish architects as Prof. Aspelin, Prof. Jvar Heikel, J.Ailio and Mr.Appelgren will haste to amend this error of the past with all cultural finesse pertaining to them, should they read this present paper of mine. They might be capable of doing this to even a better standard than the restoration that has been performed in Lohja, though even there care was exercised in trying to retain the genius of antiquity.

The Seim will certainly be understanding as to the need to allocate funds for such a useful enterprise.

According to Neovius, a similar destiny befell murals in Naantal, Porvo and Sjondea where everything was whitewashed…

There are frescoes in Kimito, Rymältyla, Lohja, Hattula (1520), Kumlige, Rauma (murals produced in 1520-1522), Tavasjalo (1450), Lieto and Pohja. In 1903 frescoes were uncovered in Sauvo and in 1904 plaster was knocked off the walls in Pernio. Concerning the murals in Usikirkko it is interesting that apart from the year of its completion being 1470 we also know the name of the artist – Petrus Heinricson.

The exterior wall in Hattula contains a much faded fresco dated by late 12th – early 13th centuries, being of the same time as the art in Nousianen. The fresco portrays the crucified Lord surrounded by Mary and John. Its splendid yet simple interpretation of the motif transfers one into the 12th century. Very fine floral design encompasses that remarkably beautiful fresco.

Ornamentations from Hattula may serve as a link between the most ancient al secco mural paintings and those of the 15th century. They feature rich combinations of fruit and flower in green, white, blue, red and grey colours. From among the 15th century mural decorations from Tevsala are prominent, being attributed to the times of Bishop Olaf Magnusson (1450-1460); the bishop's coat of arms is depicted on the walls of the church. The ancient murals in Tevsala should be viewed as the best in Finland and it makes it even more vexing that parts of them are still not uncovered from beneath the layers of plaster.

In most cases the murals in churches have been preserved only in fragments which makes it difficult to speak of an overall impression they produce.

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Museum Address: 188414, Izvara Village, Volosovo District, Leningrad Region, Russia.
Phones: +7-813-73-73-273 (group tours); Phone/Fax +7-813-73-73-298 (general)
Museum Director: Cherkasova Olga Anatolievna