Title of the article:



Lubov G. Ganina

Elena L. Madlevskaya

Aleksandr B. Ostrovskii

Information about the author/authors

Lubov G. Ganina — Research Fellow, Federal State Budgetary Institution of Culture, The Russian Museum of Ethnography, Inzhenernaya St. 4/1, 191186 St. Petersburg, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7093-646X
E-mail: lg1selena@gmail.com

Elena L. Madlevskaya — PhD in Philology, Leading Research Worker, Federal State Budgetary Institution of Culture, The Russian Museum of Ethnography, Inzhenernaya St. 4/1, 191186 St. Petersburg, Russia.
E-mail: madlevska@mail.ru

Aleksandr B. Ostrovskii — DSc in History, Senior Research Worker, Federal State Budgetary Institution of Culture, The Russian Museum of Ethnography, Inzhenernaya St. 4/1, 191186 St. Petersburg, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/ 0000-0002-3175-0248
E-mail: ost-alex@yandex.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 69


pp. 145–167


August 03, 2022

Approved after reviewing

October 10, 2022

Date of publication

September 25, 2023



Index UDK

39; 069.9

Index BBK

63.5; 79.2


The paper reveals the intention and its implementing through a museum exhibition. Based on thematically selected monuments of traditional and everyday culture, the exhibition touches on events, images of Christian historical memory. First of all, it is Annunciation, Christmas, Crucifixion and Resurrection, as well as a number of Old Testament stories — the Creation of the World, Noah's Ark, the Judgment of Solomon. The various thematic sections of the exhibition depict such significant images as the paradise tree of life, the lion, the archangels, as well as fish — the early Christian symbol of Jesus Christ, grapes (the symbol of the Church of Christ).

The presented groups of objects are diverse in their place in folk life: ritual paraphernalia, nativity scene, house carvings, interior decoration items— ceramic products (plates, tiles), wooden painted utensils, woven and embroidered towels, decorative bone products, jewelry of the Eastern Slavs and Finno-Ugric peoples. The selecting of exhibits took into account that the ornamentation of objects of traditional and everyday culture had its source not always directly from the plots set forth in biblical texts, but also their folklore processing in the form of legends, beliefs; a number of sections display apocryphal Christian texts that were widespread among the people.

The exhibition gave an idea of the integration of a number of key biblical subjects and images, especially the New Testament, into the worldview of Orthodox peoples. The fixation of certain images for specific categories of objects that had a specific purpose in everyday life created a single visible fabric of national Orthodoxy.


Biblical Images, Orthodox Peoples, Traditional Culture, Russian Museum of Ethnography, Museum Exhibition, Symbolism of the Lion, Fish, Grapes.


1 Bernshtam, T. A. Prikhodskaia zhizn' russkoi derevni: Ocherki po tserkovnoi etnografii [Parish Life of the Russian Village: Essays on Church Ethnography]. St. Petersburg, Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie Publ., 2007. 416 p. (In Russ.)

2 Vasilenko, V. M. Russkaia narodnaia rez'ba i rospis' po derevu. XVIII–XX vv. [Russian Folk Carving and Painting on Wood. 18–20 Centuries]. Moscow, Moskovskii universitet Publ., 1960. 181 p. (In Russ.)

3 Vereshchagin, E. M. Bibleistika dlia vsekh [Bible Studies for Everyone]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 2000. 281 p. (In Russ.)

4 Ganina, L. G. “Mezhdu veroi i pover'em: predstavleniia o dushe posle smerti u bolgar-pereselentsev” [“Between Faith and Belief: Ideas about the Soul after Death among Bulgarian Immigrants”]. Materialy Vosemnadtsatykh Mezhdunarodnykh Sankt-Peterburgskikh etnograficheskikh chtenii [Proceedings of the 18th International Saint-Petersburgh Ethnographic Readings]. St. Petersburg, Izdatel'sko-poligraficheskii tsentr St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design Publ., 2019, pp. 81–87. (In Russ.)

5 Goldovskii, B., Smolianskaia, S. Teatr kukol Ukrainy: Stranitsy istorii [Puppet Theater of Ukraine: Pages of History]. San-Frantsisko, International Press, 1998. 275 p. (In Russ.)

6 Davidova, M. G. “Russkii vertepnyi teatr v traditsionnoi kul'ture” [“Russian Puppet Theater in Traditional Culture”]. Traditsionnaia kul'tura, no. 1, 2002, pp. 20–36. (In Russ.)

7 Zvantsev, M. P. Nizhegorodskaia rez'ba [Nizhny Novgorod Carving]. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1969. 162 p. (In Russ.)

8 Levinson-Nechaeva, M. N. “Odezhda i tkani XVI–XVII vekov” [“Clothing and Fabrics of the 16–17 Centuries”]. Gosudarstvennaia oruzheinaia palata Moskovskogo Kremlia. Sbornik nauchnykh rabot po materialam Gosudarstvennoi oruzheinoi palaty [Collection of Papers on the State Armory Chamber]. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1954, pp. 305–386. (In Russ.)

9 Lirika russkoi svad'by [Lyrics of a Russian Wedding], publ. by N. P. Kolpakova. Leningrad, Nauka Publ., 1973. 323 p. (In Russ.)

10 Madlevskaia, E. L. “Obraz vinograda v russkoi ornamentike” [“The Image of Grapes in Russian Ornamentation”]. Ornamentika predmetov narodnoi kul'tury [Ornamentation of Popular Culture Objects]. St. Petersburg, OOO “Slaviia” Publ., 2022, pp. 36–57. (In Russ.)

11 Maksimov, S. V. Nechistaia, nevedomaia i krestnaia sila [An Impure, Unknown and Godly Force]. St. Petersburg, Tovarishchestvo R. Golike i A. Vil'borg Publ., 1903. 526 p. (In Russ.)

12 Muzykal'nyi teatr Belorussii: dooktiabr'skii period [Musical Theater of Belarus: Pre-October Period]. Minsk, Navuka і tekhnіka Publ., 1990. 382 p. (In Russ.)

13 “Narodnaia Bibliia”: Vostochnoslavianskie etiologicheskie legend [The “People's Bible”: East Slavic Etiological Legends], comp. and comm. O. V. Belovoi. Moscow, Indrik Publ., 2004. 576 p. (In Russ.)

14 Nekrylova, A., Savushkina, N. “Russkii fol'klornyi teatr” [“Russian Folklore Theater”]. Narodnyi teatr [Popular Theater]. Moscow, Sovetskii Rossiia Publ., 1991, pp. 5–20. (In Russ.)

15 Ostrovskii, A. B. Staroobriadtsy i pravoslavnye v russkom sel'skom sotsiume. Vtoraia polovina XIX – XX vek. Formy obshcheniia i ritual'naia spetsifika [Old Believers and Orthodox in the Russian Rural Society. The Second Half of the 19 – 20 Century. Forms of Communication and Ritual Specifics]. St. Petersburg, Nestor-Istoriia Publ., 2011. 279 p. (In Russ.)

16 Ostrovskii, A. B., Baranov, D. A. “Lev v russkom krest'ianskom iskusstve” [“The Lion in Russian Peasant Art”]. Zhivaia starina, no. 3, 1996, pp. 21–23. (In Russ.)

17 Poshivailo, O. Etnografiia ukraïns'kogo goncharstva (Livoberezhna Ukraïna). Kiïv, Molod' Publ., 1993. 408 p. (In Ukrainian)

18 Savushkina, N. I. Russkii narodnyi teatr [Russian Folk Theater]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1976. 151 p. (In Russ.)

19 Stoianova, G. N. “Obraz smertі v uiavlenniakh ta obriadovіi praktitsі slov’ian (na materіalakh pol'ovikh doslіdzhen' v Pіvdennіi Bessarabії).” Zapiski іstorichnogo fakul'tetu, Vol. 21. Odesa, Odes'ka mis'ka drukarnia Publ., 2010, pp. 44–52. (In Ukrainian)

20 Tychinskaia, P. A. Arkhangel Mikhail [Archangel Michael]. St. Petersburg, Metropress Publ., 2013. 76 p. (In Russ.)

21 Volkova, F. K., ed. Ukrainskii narod v ego proshlom i nastoiashchem [The Ukrainian People in Its Past and Present], vol. II. Petrograd, Obshchestvennaia Pol'za Publ., 1916. 690 p. (In Russ.)

22 Shchukin, N. “Vertep.” Vestnik Russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva, part 29, issue 5, 1860, pp. 27–35. (In Russ.)