I hold a Master’s Degree in art history (Faculty of History, Moscow State University) with a concentration in Russian medieval art. After my graduation from the University my supervisor Professor Engelina Smirnova engaged me to collect and describe miniatures of the second half of the 15th c. produced in Moscow and to study them from the point of view of an art historian. Analysis of stylistic features and iconography of these miniatures had to become the focus of my PhD project. However, it soon became clear to me that the material could not be understood sufficiently well within the framework of mere art history. A complex interdisciplinary approach had to be used.
At present, the main aim of my PhD research is to compile a catalogue of about 25 Moscow liturgical books of the late 15th c. containing miniatures. There are several manuscripts among them that have never been studied before. The description of each manuscript includes characteristics of its material structure and codicological details (quires, ruling, watermarks, bookbinding, etc.), its provenance, history, textual aspects, paleography, and decoration.
In addition to the catalogue, my PhD thesis contains a study of Moscow art of the late 15th c. From the point of view of an art historian the period is of great interest. It was the epoch after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, when the Byzantine influence on Russian art started to diminish. My research pays special attention to the iconography of images. Another important aspect of my studies is the search for more precise localization of Moscow book production – in short, the question of scriptoria.
Yet another field of my professional activities is conservation and restoration of manuscripts. Currently I am a staff restorer at the Department for Research and Restoration of Parchment Manuscripts (Grabar Art Conservation Centre, Moscow) headed by Elina Dobrynina, an acclaimed specialist in Greek paleography and codicology. We work with different types of manuscripts (codices, scrolls, charters, reused parchment fragments, etc.) belonging to different ancient traditions (Slavic, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Sanskrit, etc.). In our work we follow the principles of scientific restoration.