RUSSIA: EXPERTS FIND 17TH CENTURY MURALS IN ABANDONED CHURCH

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MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) - Experts came across unique murals in an abandoned village church in the upper reaches of the Volga, reports the Moscow-based daily, Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

The dilapidated house of prayer is in a village with the telling name of Zabolotye (Across-the-Marsh), near the tiny town of Tutayev. The walls and their murals are in a deplorable state. Researchers computerized their studies to virtually reconstruct the gone fragments, and digitize the few extant. Studies helped them to date the consecration of the Church of the Savior-Not-Made-by-Hand (or the Veronica) to September 1682.

Professor Valentin Shilov of the Arts Academy is sure a top-notch artist led a muralist team that decorated the church walls in the best traditions of the Yaroslavl icon-painting school. The art historian assumes the murals came from the brush of celebrated Dmitry Plekhanov.

Vladimir Sorokin, an artist restorer of Yaroslavl, is of a different opinion. His computer analyses of the murals revealed their close semblance to works by Sevastian Dmitriev, a contemporaneous artist of equal renown-one of those who engaged in painting Kremlin cathedral murals.

Dmitry Plekhanov (1642-1705), of Yaroslavl, an outstanding icon-painter and muralist, was on the teams that painted the Kremlin's Archangel Cathedral and Golden Chamber.

Sevastian Dmitriev (c. 1620-c. 1680), also of Yaroslavl, came down in history for his work at the Kremlin's Assumption and Archangel cathedrals.

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