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Pavel Tulaev
NATIVE GODS IN THE RUSSIAN ART
(Part 1)


White Goddess of Wisdom by Boris Olshansky
 

  When we speak about Native Gods we mean our Primordial, Heathen, Indo-Arian, Ancient-European and Old-Slavic Pantheon. It has its own history, described in many ways in different schools. There are hundreds of traditions to interpret, to present and to glorify our Pagan Gods.

  My method is based on the Ancient Russian tradition, started with the archaic religions and continued with modern art and cults. I speak as a follower of the Native Faith (Rodnaya Vera) that has Heathen roots and a researcher of the Slavonic History (Slavist) as well as a collector and a publisher of Traditional European Art.

 

The Tree of Life by Veleslav
 

  The Native Gods Pantheon is many thousands years old. His roots have been growing from antediluvian era, from Paleolithic times and matriarchy society. It is not easy to study this Primordial Tradition as whole, to see genetic and linguistic links, to avoid subjectivism, localism and personal fantasies. For example, so called Western Science likes to speak about Indo-European tradition, but generally surveys Celtic, Germanic and Indian heritage. The Balto-Slavic, Scythian or Russian antiquities are not well-known in the West. This ideological mistake is not acceptable for the modern Europe that unites Western and Eastern parts of the continent.

 

Materj Giperboreji by Victoria Preobrazenskaya
 

  The oldest period of the Russian Primordial tradition is connected with the Hyperborean civilization that took place on the Arctida (Arctic continent) many thousands year ago. In the Nothern part of Eurasia are found the rests of pre-historian cites and temples, like Arkaim or Arctic islands. Some sacred Indo-Aryan texts as VEDA confirm the history of migrations of Arians from the North to the South. Many of local toponims, especially river names from northern Russia, have parallels in VEDA. The Primordial Hyperborean tradition is reflected in the common Indo-European mythology, very well known in the academic world.

 

Out coming from Hiperborea by Vsevolod Ivanov
 

  Old Slavic and Russian Art represents a rich variety of traditional Indo-European myths, such as The Tree of Heaven with Paradise birds (Arbor Mundi), The Archaic Goddess figures as Mother-Land and Rojanitsa (Mater Matuta), Dajdbog (the god of the Sun, like Appolo), Rod (God-Father) and Perun (the God of power and thunder) Idols. Their images come from pre-Christian times and live until modern times in our folklore.

 

The Tree of Heaven (golden earings)
 

  The world famous Russian souvenir Matrioshka is an archaic symbol of Mater Matuta. Another example is the Palech art-school, that likes to reproduce the symbolic Firebird on miniature varnish boxes.

 

Firebird on miniature varnish boxes
 

  The Enlightenment epoch has taken back Ancient Gods, or better say Roman and Greek Pantheon, to the classical European culture. The Russian Empress Catherine the Great, has been depicted as Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom.

 

Catherine the Great as Minerva,
the Goddess of Wisdom

 

  The invincible Generalissimos Alexander Suvorov has been represented as Mars (Ares), the God of War, in one of his memorial statues. In the XVIII century appear first illustrated encyclopedias, devoted to the Slavic Pagan Pantheon.

 

The Spring by Alexey Venetsianov
 

  The XIX century is known as a Golden Age of Russian aristocratic culture. It started with romantic pictures of Alexey Venetsianov (The Spring) , who is like Botticelli in his style. Continued with Victor Vasnetsovs mythological realism (The Magus after Pushkins poem Oleg the Prophetic) and the modernist illustrations for Russian Fairy-Tales by Ivan Bilibin (Baba Yaga flying, Gorynich the Dragon, Volga having turned into a pike).

 

Baba Yaga flying by Ivan Bilibin
 

  And finished with Michael Vrubel (The Swan Princess, Pan) was the painter who expressed completely new perspectives of the National Pagan art-school, influenced by French impressionism.

 

Pan by Michael Vrubel
 

TO BE CONTINUED.>>>

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