Elena Kashina (York), The Temple of Transcendent Wisdom: the Image of the Virgin Mary as an Agent of Russia’s National State

This paper proposes to examine the creation and use of state personifications in the context of the formation of the Russian centralized state, under Grand Duke Ivan III and Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible), drawing on a number of Marian iconographies, which became central to the political visual narratives of asserting sovereignty during the period.

Ivan III and Ivan IV were the two rulers during whose reign Moscow completed a transition from the capital of a principality to that of a centralised state. Ivan III (1462–1505) became the first ruler to assume the title of the Lord of All Russia, while Ivan IV (the Terrible) (1547–1584) was Russia’s first officially crowned and anointed Tsar. Continue reading