Tsars and Cossacks : A Study in Iconography

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Ukrainian Cossacks used icon painting to investigate their relationship not only with God but also their relationship with the Russian tsar. Could Emperor Peter I and his adversary in the Battle of Poltava (1709)—the Cossack Hetman Ivan Mazepa—be depicted in the same icon? Why did the Cossack colonels commission icons with the portraits of their tsars, but not of their own Cossack leaders, the hetmans? Could a Catholic king be portrayed in an Orthodox icon? Why are the Russian tsars and Orthodox hierarchs missing on some of the Zaporozhian Cossack icons? In this groundbreaking study, Serhii Plokhy provides answers to these and many other questions pertaining to the political and religious culture of Ukrainian Cossackdom, as reflected in the Cossack-era paintings, icons, and woodcuts. By encouraging the iconography to “speak,” Tsars and Cossacks helps to broaden and deepen our understanding of Ukrainian iconography as well as Russian imperial political culture.

Author(s): Serhii Plokhy
Series: Harvard Papers in Ukrainian Studies
Publisher: Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
Year: 2022

Language: English
Pages: x; 102 p. [16] p. plates
City: Cambridge
Tags: History--Art-Religious; Icons, Cossack--Ukraine--17th century; Icons, Cossack--Ukraine--18th century; Cossacks--Ukraine--Government relations; Ukraine (Hetmanate : 1648-1782)

Title Page
List of Illustrations vi
Dedication vii
Acknowledgments ix
Usage Note x
Introduction 1
1. Cossack Identity 5
2. The Pokrova Iconography 19
3. The Wings of Protection 31
4. The Image of the Hetman 45
5. Tsars and Colonels 55
6. Cossacks, Bishops, and Kings 63

Concluding Remarks 73
Bibliography 77
Index 99
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