Faces from the past

We have spent seven days of masterclass by taking photos in Uglich and around – writes Nikolai Gontar –, and in the outskirts I came across this unambiguously historical building in sharp contrast to its surroundings. “Private property, keep out”, said the inscription. As I was looking around, I drew the attention of the guard who came up to me. I thought he would drive me away, but no. A conversation began from which I learned that the building was nothing but a former church whose towers were pulled down and it was converted into a woodwork shop. The most interesting thing was that the murals covering all the inside walls – the attentive eyes of the saints obviously impeded the process of working – were plastered and whitewashed. However, the plaster came off the walls exactly where the faces of the persons were. First it seemed a fairy tale, but then the guard told me that I can come in if I wanted to look around. Sure I wanted.

The building was conspicuous at the first glance, and not without a reason.

Bags of sawdust stood in large piles all over the courtyard. I especially liked the plaque on the door: “Опасная зона” – “Danger zone”.

Over the entrance immediately appeared this picture.

“After work, clean up behind you.”

This is what the guard was speaking about.

Another well conserved face. You’ll notice the date of 1930 in the signature.

A friend who is an experienced icon painter told me that traditionally they used colors of
different quality to the different part of the fresco. Faces, painted with better
colors, were often varnished, which made the plaster come off later.

It was an extra surprise that the company was also engaged in manufacturing grave crosses.

Wood is processed here, in the back yard.

2 comentarios:

Μαριανα dijo...

Really fascinating post. You never know what you can find in such abandoned places...

Studiolum dijo...

True. And in countries like ours, where during the decades of Communism so many once noble buildings were converted to a lower use, you can expect everything.