Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

Church Art History and Theory

In 2012, the Moscow Theological Academy opened the Department of the History of Church Art. N. V. Kvlividze, Associate Professor of MThA, was appointed head of the new department.

In 2013, the Department of Church Art History was transformed into the Department of Church Art History and Theory. The Department has been headed by Professor N. V. Kvlividze of the MThA from the day of its opening till the present day.

There are 13 instructors working in the department. The department employs, in particular, Professor of the MThA, Doctor of Art History, Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts O. R. Khromov; MThA Professor, Russian scientist, Doctor of Art History, leading researcher of the Department of Manuscript Restoration of the V. V. Igoshev State Research Institute of Restoration; Russian and Belarusian historian of architecture, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences, Doctor of Architecture I. N. Slyunkova; Professor, Associate Professor, Candidate of Arts, member of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, specialist in the field of Byzantium and Old Russian art N. V. Kvlividze; Head of the Climatology Laboratory of Museums and Monuments of Architecture of the State Research Institute of Restoration V.B. Dorokhov, as well as Candidates of Arts and History and other museum researchers.

The Department's students graduate as masters, specialists in the history of church art (architecture, painting, plasticity). In addition, the Department supervises postgraduate and part-time students in the field of "History of Church Art". It also offers a course on the theory and history of art at the bachelor's degree level.  

The main direction of academic research undertaken by undergraduates, postgraduates and the faculty focuses on the monuments which are found in monasteries, temples, museums and libraries of the Russian Orthodox Church. The research is focused on the complex study of artistic and theological peculiarities of Christian artwork as the art of the liturgy, which is one of the most important aspects of the direction of training carried out by the department.

The program focuses on the in-depth study of the history of Byzantine and Old Russian art and iconography, as well as the art of Eastern Christian churches and contemporary Orthodox church art.

The disciplines studied include, in particular, the following:

  • Iconology
  • Russian Church Art of the XVIII-XX centuries
  • Art of Medieval Russia
  • History of Byzantine Art
  • Christian Iconography
  • Storage and Restoration of Church Art
  • Church History
  • Church Arts and Crafts
  • Ornamental History
  • Storage and restoration of cultural artefacts
  • Russian handwritten and old-printed illustrated books
  • History of Byzantine Literature
  • Western European Iconography
  • Byzantine history
  • Storage and Restoration of Architectural Monuments
  • Art of the East Christian Church of the XV-XIX centuries.

In addition to the disciplines of church art history, students will study theology of icons, philosophy, a foreign language and liturgics

The uniqueness of the educational approach of the MThA Master's Degree is found in the preparation of students for independent work with sources on the history of Eastern Christian art, based on the knowledge of the history of Byzantium, Byzantine and Old Russian literature, the study of which is given special importance.

Students study monuments of applied art, icons, medieval book miniatures. They study in the halls of Russian museums and abroad and travel for practice.

Graduates of the department work in state museums, teach in icon-painting schools and theological courses on church art, work in dioceses as curators of antiquities.

Department web-site: ici-mpda.pravorg.ru