Important school of Russian medieval icon and mural painting that flourished around Novgorod in the 12th–16th centuries. Novgorod, Russia's cultural centre in the 13th–14th centuries, when most of the rest of the country was occupied by the Mongols, preserved the Byzantine traditions that formed the basis of Russian art but introduced lighter and brighter colours, flatter forms, softening of facial types, and increasing use of a graceful, rhythmic line to define form. Until the early 14th century, artistic activity was dominated by mural painting. A new artistic impetus was provided by the introduction of the iconostasis. When icons were displayed together on the iconostasis rather than scattered about the walls of the church, they demanded a coherent overall impression, which was achieved by strong, rhythmic lines and colour harmonies. Figures took on the elongated shape that became standard in Russian art. In the 16th century artistic leadership passed to the Moscow school.
Miracle of St. George over the Dragon, icon by an anonymous artist of the Novgorod
—Novosti Press Agency
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