M. N. TIKHOMIROV. Andrei Rublyov and His Time
The author of the article paints a vivid picture of Russian life at the end of the 14th and the first three decades of the 15th centuries, showing against this background the chief landmarks of the creative path traversed by Andrei Rublyov, the great artist of medieval Russia who lived between 1360 and 1430.
The remarkable painter's creative work dates back to the period when the Russian people waged a heroic struggle for independence. He witnessed the defeat inflicted on Mamai's hordes in the Battle of Kulikovo. The brief information contained in the sources testifies to a great economic upsurge in the Russian lands of that period. Many new towns were appearing, with villages and settlements rapidly growing around them. The Russian State was being founded, with Moscow as: its centre. This process was closely linked with the rise and development of Russian nationhood. In the period when Andrei Rublyov lived and worked the Russian people were breaking feudal partitions and creating a single language and culture.
As distinct from Andrei Rublyov's creative work, which was comprehensively studied by different art researchers, very little has been achieved so far in establishing the basic dates in his biography. All existing information on Rublyov can be divided into annals, religious records and reminiscences. The most important place among these sources is held by annals.
The earliest information on Rublyov's work is contained in the 15th-century annals of the Troitsk Monastery under the year 1408. It tells of the decorative painting in the Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral in the town of Vladimir and was obviously recorded by a contemporary since the annals were begun shortly after 1408 and have a precise date - May 25. This record, with a few insignificant changes, is repeated in other chronicles. The need for the new decorative painting must be attributed to the poor state of the cathedral after Vladimir fell into the feudal possession of the Lithuanian Prince Svidrigailo.
However, there is another, earlier record of Andrei Rublyov found in the annals under the year 1405, which says that Rublyov, jointly with Feofan Grechin and Prokhor of Gorodets, took part in the painting of Blagoveshchensky (Annunciation) Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. In this record Rublyov is referred to as "chernets," as distinct from the "old man" Prokhor of Gorodets, which can well be taken as a hint to Rublyov's youth-fulness.
The sources contain no indication of the great painter's birthplace, but we know that his whole life was closely linked with Moscow. Evidently he was not a monk in his youth and took the monastic vows later in one of the Moscow monasteries, probably in the Andronyev Monastery. Since this occurred prior to 1405, the conjecture that Rublyov was born in Pskov and M. A. Alpatov's guess that the painter spent his early years in the Troitsk Monastery seem groundless.
Judging by all the indications, by 1405 Andrei Rublyov and his icon-painter friend Daniil were already known as renowned masters and worked for the Grand Duke and the Metropolitan. It is not unlikely that Rublyov was one of those pupils of Feofan Grechin and Semyon Chorny that are mentioned in the chronicle of the Troitsk Monastery under the year 1395. The word "icon painter" possibly designated not merely Daniil's profession but also his position as head of an icon-painters' artel. Daniil and Andrei Rublyov were well acquainted with educated people of that period, who initiated the work of compiling all-Russian annals (the Troitsk Monastery Chronicle) and distributed handwritten and translated books. A peculiar Moscow academy of arts of the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th centuries is unfolding before our eyes. The annals and legends tell us not only of celebrated painters but also of their pupils, without whom Rublyov's brilliant works would merely remain unique specimens of art and would not create the style of the epoch. Monumental works produced by Rublyov's school have been found in Zvenigorod, where two stone cathedrals were erected in the early part of the 15th century - in Gorodok and in Savva-Storozhevsky Monastery. Incidentally, the records on Savva Storo-zhevsky mention a wooden, not a stone cathedral.
After 1408 the annals contain no mention of Andrei Rublyov for a long period of time. It is quite probable that during this period he was busy painting the Castle Church
in Lublino. An inscription still preserved on its walls indicates that the painting was done by an artist named Andrei, and was completed in August 1413.
The last period of Rublyov's life is connected with his work in the Troitsk and Andronyev monasteries. The Troitsk Monastery cathedral was built about 1422. We learn from the legend of St. Sergius that the painting of the cathedral was done, at the request of Nikon the Superior, by "old painters" Daniil and Andrei, who died shortly after. According to that legend, the painting of the cathedra! was their last work. The second St. Sophia chronicle links the death of both painters with the death of Nikon the Superior in 1427. Consequently, the painting of the Troitsk Monastery cathedral can be dated back to' 1425 - 1428. However, the Biography of St. Nikon, published in Moscow in 1646, contains information that following their work in the Troitsk Monastery, Daniil and Andrei undertook to paint the Andronyev Monastery cathedral, which served as one of Moscow's cultural centres in those days. This beautiful specimen of the painters' art is considered to be their last work.
The story of the founding of Andronyev Monastery narrates about the "old" icon-painter Andrei who, together with Savva the Superior, created a stone church in the monastery. The record contains no mention of Daniil, Rublyov's older friend, who probably died in the Troitsk Monastery by that time, as is testified in the Biography of St. Nikon. Thus, Andrei Rublyov carried out his last work in the Andronyev Monastery under Alexander the Superior, i. e., not earlier than 1427, approximately in 1428 - 29.
In conclusion the author sums up the preliminary results of his research devoted to the principal dates in the biography of the remarkable painter of medieval Rus. Andrei Rublyov was born about 1360 and took part in the decorative painting of the Rozhdestvo Bogoroditsi Cathedral in the Kremlin presumably in 1395. In 1405 he painted the Kremlin's Blagoveshchensky (Annunciation) Cathedral and in 1408 the Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral in Vladimir. Then, in 1410 - 12 he probably worked in Lublino and between 1415 and 1420 again in Moscow and Zvenigorod. In the last period of his life he did artistic painting in the Troitsk (1425 - 27) and Andronyev (1428 - 30) monasteries. The Andronyev Monastery cathedral, which closely resembles Serbian architecture in style, might have been built by the Serbian architect Lazar, who erected a watchtower in the Prince's Court in Moscow.
Rublyov died in the aureole of glory, universally famed as" the greatest master of his time. His name has become legendary. The images created by Rublyov evoke the same admiration today as they did in his time. His brilliant works will always inspire a feeling of pride and joy in the hearts of all those who cherish the past and present of the great Russian people.
G. A. DEBORIN. The Main Problems Analyzed in the First Volume of "The Hisfory of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union"
The author of the article examines the most important problems of contemporary history highlighted in the recently published first volume of "The History of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union (1941 - 45)" - a publication consisting of many volumes.
The following major problems are examined in the article: the factors that gave rise to the war, - the Soviet Union's negotiations with Great Britain and France in 1939 and the conclusion of the Soviet-German treaty of non-aggression, the character of the second world war, the peoples' struggle against fascism, the anti-fascist national-liberation movement of the peoples, the Japanese imperialist aggression, the preparations carried on by German imperialism for an attack on the U.S.S.R., the Soviet Union's internal problems in the prewar period.
Examining the origin of the war, the author points' out the most important positive aspects of the comprehensive analysis of this problem given in the first volume of "The History of the Great Patriotic War." The book reveals the close connection between the prewar political crisis and the outbreak of the second world war; it clearly shows that the military collision between the two capitalist blocs was not accidental, that the outbreak of the war within the imperialist system - that breeding ground of war - was a logical process; drawing on extensive factual material, the authors of the book give a scientific analysis of the factors: that led the Western Powers to complete bankruptcy.
Volume I of "The History of the Great Patriotic War" is the first publication which gives a comprehensive exposition, based on extensive archive materials and documents, of the history of the Anglo-Franco-Soviet negotiations of 1939. These documentary data graphically illustrate the position of the Soviet Union which, throughout the negotiations, offered Great Britain, France, Poland, Rumania, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania its disinterested assistance against the German fascist aggression that was presenting an everincreasing menace to all European states. The British and French governments, on the other hand, tried to conduct negotiations in-such away as to impose on the Soviet Union a number of serious unilateral obligations, the'implementation of which would involve the
U.S.S.R. in a war with Germany without any prospects of getting assistance from Britain and France. This explains why the British government attached far greater importance to its secret talks with Germany, which it conducted simultaneously with its negotiations with the Soviet Union and in which a number of prominent Right-wing Labour leaders took part.
The "phoney war" started by the British and French governments against Germany in September 1939 was a direct continuation of their prewar Munich policy. The purpose of the "phoney war," as that of the Munich policy, was to divert fascist aggression from Britain and France and shift it in the direction of the U.S.S.R. The policy of these governments was spearheaded against the U.S.S.R., against the Communist Parties and democratic organizations in their own countries.
However, owing to the existence of the mighty socialist Soviet Union, the war resorted toby the imperialists as a means of solving their contradictions was converted into a just and, essentially, a popular war against the fascist states-the mainstay of imperialist reaction m those days. The Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union and the antifascist national-liberation movement of the peoples were of decisive importance in altering the character of the war.
The author brings out the close interconnection between the German aggression in the West and the Japanese aggression in the East. This interconnection was manifested not only in the common interests and aims pursued by the aggressors (which, however, failed to remove the contradictions dividing them). The U.S. and British policy towards Japan had little to distinguish it from their Munich policy towards Germany. This character of their policy was clearly revealed during Britain's negotiations with Japan in 1939 and American-Japanese negotiations in 1940 - 1941.
The article is largely based on materials analyzed in the first volume, which show the preparations made by German imperialism for an attack on the U.S.S.R.: drawing up of operational and strategic plans, upbuilding of the economic potential, concentration and deployment of the armed forces.
Irrefutable facts -knock the bottom out of the attempts by former nazi generals and Federal Germany's present-day political leaders to represent Germany's treacherous attack on the U.S.S.R. as a "preventive war."
In the concluding part af the article the author analyzes the Soviet Union's potentialities for administering a crushing rebuff to the fascist aggressor. The powerful economic potential built up by the Soviet people in the course of the five-year plans provided adequate opportunities for a rapid transition to a perfectly organized military economy in the event of war. However, owing to the adverse consequences of the personality-cult, these opportunities could not be utilized to the full.
The first volume of "The History of the Great Patriotic War" is devoted to the prewar period. It describes the grim trials that fell to the lot of the Soviet people during the war. But the material contained in the first volume brings out the chief factors and sources of the epoch-making victory achieved by the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. It graphically shows that this victory was not accidental but was, predetermined by the whole course of world history.
I. P. LEIBEROV and O. I. SHKAROTAN. Concerning the Social Composition of Petrograd's Industrial Workers in 1917
The question examined in the article has been inadequately studied in historical literature. The authors make an attempt, first to trace the sources that replenished the ranks of Petrograd's workers in 1914 - 17 and bring out the influence exerted by these sources on the changed social structure of Petrograd's proletariat; second, to establish the extent to which the prewar number of industrial workers was reduced by the time of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
The authors emphasize that on the eve of the first world war skilled workers no longer economically bound to the countryside were predominant among St. Petersburg's proletariat. During the war years the working class of this major industrial centre underwent considerable changes in its composition. An important influence on the social composition of Petrograd's workers was exerted by the changes that had taken place in the labour market.
During the war and in peacetime ruined peasants served as one of the main sources of replenishing the working class. The war tended to intensify the process of impoverishment and ruination of poor and middle peasants. This resulted in a rapid influx into industry of young men of pre-conscription age, women and old men from the villages in the northwestern, western and central black-earth regions.
Another important source of replenishing the working class, the authors point out, were the proletarian sections of the urban population, primarily the wives and children of the workers of Petrograd and its suburbs.
The-authors stress that to establish the real correlation existing between these two basic social sources of replenishing Petrograd's proletariat (ruined peasants and members
of working-class families) is an extremely difficult and complicated job, inasmuch as no investigations were made in this field during the war. Drawing on available information, the authors arrive at the conclusion that, compared with the preceding period, the role of the peasantry as a source of replenishing the working class considerably increased in the years of the first world war.
Another source of replenishing the ranks of the proletariat in that period was provided by urban and rural bourgeois elements socially alien to the working class (merchants, officials, kulaks) and petty-bourgeois sections of the city population (shopkeepers, handicraftsmen, etc.)V The influx of these elements into industry must be attributed to the fact that the workers employed in munitions' factories or fulfilling military orders were granted deferment from conscription. The authors believe that the share of the elements alien to the working class was considerable among the Petrograd workers. At the same time the authors point to a certain increase in the number of the "labour aristocracy," which, however, remained insignificant among Petrograd's workers in 1914 - 17.
Much space in the article is devoted to elucidating the question concerning the extent to which the prewar cadres of the proletariat were preserved. A brief historiographical survey of this question leads the authors to the conclusion that this problem requires further elaboration. At the same time an interesting attempt is made in the article to establish, by drawing on indirect data (no direct data is available), the extent to which the prewar cadres of the proletariat were preserved in Petrograd by 1917. The authors consider that no more than 40,000 men, or about 17 per cent of the total number of Petrograd's industrial proletariat on the eve of the war could be drafted into the army from among the prewar workers between 1914 and 1916. Consequently, the article stresses, in the years of the first world war the basic mass of the prewar proletarian cadres was: preserved in Petrograd's factories and mills.
The retention of the basic proletarian cadres in Petrograd stimulated the spread of the revolutionary movement. Despite wholesale arrests and persecution, the Bolshevik organizations were steadily gaining in strength: the number of Bolsheviks m Petrograd increased from 800 in the summer of 1915 to 2,000 at the end of 1916.
Following a brief analysis of the period between February and October 1947, the authors conclude that the correlation between various groups within the working class of the capital, as it existed by the beginning of 1917, remained unchanged on the eve of the October Revolution. But the political awareness of the workers drawn into industry from among the urban population and poor and middle peasants, changed substantially. Steeled and tempered in the revolutionary battles of 1917, they abandoned their petty-bourgeois illusions and joined the Bolshevik Party. By the time of the October uprising alt the basic groups of Petrograd's proletariat came out in a united front. In October 1917 the overwhelming majority of Petrograd's workers sided with the Boisheviks.
Petrograd became a cradle and inexhaustible source of staunch fighters for the victory of the socialist revolution.
S. M. TROITSKY. From the History of the Russian Ruble
The author of this article writes that the history of the Russian ruble dates nearly nearly 500 years. From the moment of its' appearance at the turn of the 14th century the ruble underwent a number of essential changes, which reflected the basic changes inathe history of the economic and financial system of pre-revolutionary Russia.
The author points out that inadequate development of the productive forces under the feudal system and lack of funds to cover the mounting expenditure frequently compelled the government to resort to an increased minting of coins, often enough of an inferior quality. This led to a steady rise in prices, lower purchasing power of the ruble and, consequently, tended to depress the working people's living standards.
The history of the ruble (up to 1917) is divided by S. M. Troitsky into the following five periods.
The first period-from the appearance of the silver ruble at the turn of the 14th century to the middle of the 17th century, when mass minting of depreciated copper coins and the emission of real monetary units (ruble, half-ruble and other pieces) was launched-is marked by a steady decline in the weight of the silver ruble.
The second period-from the mid-17th century to the sixties of the 18th century, when the "waste" of silver for fiscal purposes was stopped in 1762 - 64-is marked by the appearance of paper money in Russia. This period was characterized by extensive mintage of silver coins of inferior quality, intensified efforts to introduce light copper coins ami the appearance of the gold ruble in Russia.
The third period-from the 1760's to the monetary reform carried out by E. F. Kankrin m 1839 - 1843-is distinguished by the growing "mission of banknotes, their 'depreciation and suspension of their exchange for silver and copper coins, as well as by the government's attempt to re-establish the exchange of banknotes for silver.
The fourth period - from the mid-forties of the 19th centory, when the exchange of banknotes for silver was re-established, to the introduction of the gold-ruble in 1897 -
1899 - is marked by another steep increase in the issue of paper money and bysthe growing inflation in Russia resulting from the currency reform carried out by S. Y. Wftte. This period also witnessed the introduction of gold currency in the country.
In the fifth period (from the close of the 19th century to 1917) the relatively stable gold currency was abolished during the first world war and the emission of paper money was launched on a vast scale. Another big increase in the emission of paper money took place in 1917 during the few months of the bourgeois Provisional Government's misrule. This led to mocdioate inflation and complete disorganization of the country's currency circulation.
The author graphically shows that the pre-revolutionary history of the Russian ruble is a continuous process of its depreciation and decline in its real" purchasing power. The depreciated value of the ruble found its legislative embodiment in all the currency reforms carried ont by the tsarist governments of pre-revolutionary Russia.
This provided the ruling classes with an additional opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of the labouring masses.
The new history of the ruble was ushered in our country by the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution. Today the Soviet ruble is famed as the most stable and reliable currency in the world. The continued strengthening of the value of the Soviet ruble has been made possible by the immense achievements scored by the Soviet people in the process of communist construction in the U.S.S.R. and in socialism's peaceful competition with capitalism. The author of the article has drawn extensively-on historical literature, factual data and published documents.
E. L. RUDNITSKAYA. N. P. Ogarev's Social Experiments
The article is devoted to N. P. Ogarev's activity in the period preceding his emigration. Ogarev's social experiments are regarded by the author as a definite stage in the formation and development of his views, which led him to the conviction that the peasant commune was the embryo and foundation of "Russian" socialism. As distinct from the teachings of the West-European Utopian Socialists, "Russian" socialism was closely connected with revolutionary democratism. Before he became an ideologist of "Russian" socialism, Ogarev traversed a long and tortuous path of ideological quests and numerous attempts to bring about some practical change in the way of life of the Russian countryside.
The author shows the development of Ogarev's views from subjective idealism to materialism, accompanied by an anthropological approach in his treatment of socialist ideas. His erroneous conception of the role of practice as an individual, not a social category, impelled Ogarev to take the path of reformation. The objective prerequisite for his reformist illusions was the absence of any prospects for a people's revolution in Russia in the forties and fifties of the last century.
It is pointed out in the article that Ogarev's original plan was to establish a communist settlement made up of his closest friends, whose members, living in the midst of the people, would dedicate themselves to enlightening the masses. When this project proved unfeasible, Ogarev decided to devote his efforts to reorganizing the life of his serfs. His; plan envisaged extensive enlightening activities among the peasants (organization of schools and hospitals, abolition of the corvee system and the establishment of special farms and individual peasant households). These transformations, in Ogarev's opinion, would turn the serf peasants, groaning under landlord oppression for many centuries, into conscious and active members of the future association. This view was based on Ogarev's own experience in liberating the serf peasants in the village belonging to himself (Verkhni Belo-omut village in Ryazan Gubernia). However, this example clearly showed that it was impossible to ensure the peasants' prosperity and "harmonious existence" within the framework of the peasant commune. Ogarev attributed this to conservative organization of the commune's economic system and its moral consequences. It was precisely on the criticism of these consequences that he concentrated his attention in his plan of organizing a public polytechnical school, drawn up in 1847.
Essentially, Ogarev's social experiments were of a bourgeois-enterprising character and corresponded to the objective requirements of developing agricultural production. In implementing his plans he encountered stubborn resistance on the part of the most backward and ignorant sections of the peasantry, as well as an openly hostile attitude of neighbouring landlords and local authorities. His activity in the field of social reforms was cut short by bankruptcy. Nevertheless, it enabled him to gain a firsthand knowledge of the everyday life of the peasantry and, what is most important, was of decisive significance in shaping his views on the future of Russia. Having convinced himself of the futility of his efforts, Ogarev again turned to the communal organization principle. His re-examination of the commune question found its reflection, among other things', in an excerpt from Ogarev's notebook, relating to 1855 and discussing the possibility of settling the serf peasants working at the Talsk paper mill (Simbirsk Gubernia), owned by Ogarev. The latter planned to establish, on the basis of the peasants' land property, an industrial-
type association with communal ownership of capital and industrial equipment. The negative consequences of the commune, which were mentioned by Ogarev in 1847 in his public school project, were now attributed by him to the influence exerted on the commune by the social system existing in Russia. Ogarev believed that the peasant commune, freed from these fetters which distorted its real essence, would become the foundation of the future socialist Russia.
The author arrives at the conclusion that Ogarev's ideas of "Russian" socialism were formulated by him not only under the influence of A. I. Herzen but also independently. Disappointment in social reforms, the mounting tide of peasant uprisings, the rise of the social movement in the country, particularly after the Crimean War, led Ogarev to the thought of the inevitability of a revolutionary solution of the tasks confronting Russia. In 1856 Ogarev left Russia and together with A. I. Herzen became a confirmed-revolutionary democrat and one of the theoreticians of "Russian" Utopian socialism.
L. S. KYUZADJIAN. Sino-Vietnamese Revolutionary Ties in the Years of the Awakening of Asia
The author of the article makes an attempt to analyze the rise and development of the revolutionary-democratic trend in the Vietnamese liberation movement which was closely connected with the Chinese democratic movement headed by Sun Yatsen. Drawing on a number of Vietnamese and Chinese sources and monographs by foreign researchers, the author traces the contacts maintained by Chinese and Vietnamese revolutionaries beginning with 1904, when the leadership of the patriotic movement in Viet-Nam was taken over by Phan Poi Thiau and his followers, who superseded the defeated feudal opposition to the colonial regime.
The author emphasizes that from the early period of their activity the Vietnamese patriots tried to establish close contacts with the Chinese political emigre organizations functioning in Tokyo and other Japanese towns.
Despite their bourgeois-landlord views resulting from the low level of the country's economic development as well as from their class prejudices, Phan Poi Thiau and his adherents rejected the reformist path to which they were impelled by Liang Chichao and other Chinese liberals who emigrated to Tokyo after the defeat of the Hundred Days Movement in 1898.
The ruthless colonial regime and the mounting tide of spontaneous popular uprisings, the author writes, were the objective factors that helped the members of the Ziui Tang society, founded by Phan Poi Thiau, to abandon the liberal, reformist Chinese emigre camp and establish contacts with Sun Yat-sen, Chang Pin-lin, Chang Chi and other leaders of the Tungmenhui League.
The short period from the first Russian revolution of 1905 - 1907 to the Chinese Revolution of 1911 witnessed a complex evolution in the views of the Vietnamese independence fighters - from the monarchist illusions to the recognition of the republican system. These important changes were caused, above all, by the development of the anti-imperialist struggle in Indo-China itself. But the Chinese liberation movement, intensified under the impact of the Russian revolution of 1905, greatly contributed to the maturity of the struggle waged by Vietnamese revolutionaries, the author concludes.
The article contains many facts illustrative of the joint actions undertaken by Chinese and Vietnamese patriots, of the first attempts to organize armed uprisings and set up multi-national revolutionary organizations whose members included Chinese and Vietnamese democrats, of the attitude of Vietnamese reformists who carried on their activity in the same period as Phan Poi Thiau's group.
I. S. KISSELHOF. How French Bourgeois Historiography Distorts Certain Problems of France's History in the Period of World War II
The article exposes the tendentious presentation and outright falsification of history intrinsic to all French bourgeois literature devoted to France's history in the period of the second world war. This falsification of the history of France finds expression in negating the decisive role played by the popular masses in the country's liberation, distorting the activity and aims of the French Communist Party, giving a wrong appraisal of the events that gave rise to the war and of the causes that led to France's defeat and, finally, in negating the influence exerted by the victories of the Soviet Armed Forces on the development of the Resistance Movement.
The author points out that reactionary bourgeois historiography identifies the Resistance Movement with the activity of diverse bourgeois Resistance groups, belittles the role of the popular masses, denies the leading role of the working class and its militant party in the national struggle for the liberation of France, The article showsothe insol-
vettcy of this concept and paints a vivid picture of the valiant struggle waged by the popular masses of France for the liberation of their country. The author convincingly shows that the working dass was in the van of this struggle organized by the French Communist Party.
The article exposes the fabrications of reactionary bourgeois historians about the causes that led to the outbreak of the war and to France's defeat in 1940, as well as their attempts to distort the real character of the Vichy regime and vindicate the betrayers of the French people. Bourgeois historians, the author stresses, cannot admit the fact that instead o waging a resolute struggle against fascist Germany, the French ruling circles actually fought their own people and prepared a war against the U.S.S.R. This was one of the principal factors responsible for France's defeat.
The article also contains factual data effectively refuting bourgeois historians' falsified agpraisals of many important aspects of Franco-Soviet wartime relations.
About · News · For Advertisers · Donate to Libmonster
Libmonster ® All rights reserved.
2014-2023, LIBMONSTER.COM is a part of Libmonster, international library network (open map)
Keeping the heritage of the United States