Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences / Eastern Motifs in the Ornamentation of Eighteenth-Century Siberian Church Architecture

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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences: 2016, Vol. 9, Issue 4
Brumfield, William C.
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Brumfield, William C.:Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; E-mail:
Siberian church architecture; Baroque architecture; Tobolsk; Irkutsk; Eniseisk; Buriatiia; Krasnoiarsk; Buddhist visual culture; Russo-Chinese trade; Ivan Bechevin

Russia’s engagement with Asian peoples and cultures forms a topic whose boundaries have yet to be thoroughly explored, particularly in the relationship between Russian and Asian architecture. As an artifact demanding significant resources as well as building skills, architecture involves numerous factors related to social, cultural, economic and technological history. The present article will point to specific instances, primarily in eighteenth-century Siberian church architecture that suggest a Russian receptivity to east Asian ornamentation. Russia is a Eurasian power, and it is plausible that the growth of trade between Russia and eastern Asia (especially China) in the eighteenth century would have fostered possibilities for cultural transference. Such exchange, it will be argued, seems to have occurred in the realm of architecture, in which decorative motifs could be observed, disseminated (even in printed form) and copied at significant points along Russia’s Asian pathways

Paper at repository of SibFU

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