COLOUR IN ARCHITECTURE.
AND DEVELOPMENT OF ARCHITECTURAL MULTICOLOUR PAINTING IN BYELORUSSIA
Dr. Larissa M. Shakinko.
Color culture is a complicated phenomenon of Byelorussian
culture as a whole and a lot of branches of science are necessery for studying
Colour features of historical monuments and people aarchitecture,painting
and decorative arts we can use as a base for studying the national colour
The investigation gives the opportunity to distinguish
6 different historixcally-ethnografical colour space regions of Byelorussian
and to reveal their ethnic originelity. And the researches of colour preferences
( Ponomareva, Shkinko ) permited to observe the correlation between tradishional
and modem ones.
Among the fctors that determine the artistic traditions
and the colour cuture of region as a whole the most importatant is the
natural phenomen. Anelysis of surroundings show that regional lignt-climatic
and natural ( mineral, vegetable and water ) conditions-have importat infulence
on formation of colouristic palette of Byelorussian architecture.
The the oretical model of colourisic of architecture
we can represent as a system of two structure coordinated parts:
1). Of " chromatic material " ( it is a colouristic
of ordinary duildings ).
2). Of " chromatic frame " ( it is a colouristic
of unique duildings ).
"Cromatic material" is characterized by pallatte
of warm grey-brown, ochre tone of natural tintes, that don't contrast with
landscape, there are mainly odjects of wooden archiecture. Wood is the
uppermost building material not only for habitable and household, dut for
cultural and civil duildings of the past.
The colour of wood ( pine, fir, oak and the combination
of various wood ) was supplemented with colour of thatch, boards and sometime
with colour of stoun and tiles. The warm calm range of " chromatic
material " make nuance harmony with landscape surroundings.
If the "chromatic material" form the background,
that the objects of "chromatic frame" are colour accents, which
are distinguished on the background.There are unique architectural edifices
and complex , that have leading position in landscape surroundings owing
to more concentrated colour range, where the contrasts exist .
There four main groups of objects of "chromatic
frame", that have different colour features. Lot us consider the features
of colour organization of that groups.
For the first group it is significant that polychromatic
appearence was formed by combination of dark-red and yellow colours of
brick, sometimes with red-brown brick and dark brown tiled roof. These
objects haven't no additional decor. The colour is putted in structure,
it is longlived and in that way show the tectonics of bildings.
The arciutectural monuments of the second group are characterized
by range wann colours with contrast of mixed type (red and white, red and
black). That combination of colour of stone and brick with white colour
of lime for decorative elements givs them especially smartness and grandeur.
Besides this colour compoatton was the traditional symbol of energy and
perpetuity .In the folk clothes this combination has used for especially
vulnerable places and served as a sign-symbol, guarding against the evil
That objects use not only longelived colour-bearere(
stone, brick, tiles), but short-lived too (quick lime).
The main tendency of colour interpretaliono of monuments
from thud group is using the middlewave part of colour's spectrum: yellow,
green, ochre and sky-blu. That colours give the possibility of forming
of contrast background for sculpture-ornamental and architectural form,
that are painted with white colour. The colouristic of that buildings is
dependent not on building methods and materials, but on composition and
tectonic of buildings. The sticked elements are painted with dalfc colour,
the stepped out elements are painted with white colour. In combination
with red tiled roof that design of facade give to that objects picturesque
and colourful appearence, particularly by natural solar light. Nearly all
of colour-bearer here are short-lived.
The monuments of Byelorusaan architecture with polychrome
elements of decorative and applied art form the fourth group of "chromatic
frame". Their main feature is rich decoration of facade that is fonned
by manycoloured building materials ( natural stone-boulder, face brick,
mullicolour ceramic and majolica).
The colour of facadewas fanned from different natural
materials, beginning from grey to black, from pink to red. It was added
and stressed by ceramic insertions of different colours. The additional
introduction of gilt, ochre, green, yellow and skyblu colours made the
palette significant wider. The objects of fourth group have an interesting
feature - they are long-lived and have a maximum of colours.
In hannony with surroundings āņķ don't lose their colouristic
activity. Their colour ensure clear visibility in conditions with diffusion
light of Byelorussia since exist well contrast white - red, black - red,
white - ochre - guilt, white - green, white - blu and so on.
Heaving learned the principal features of colouristic
palette of architectural monuments of Byelorusaa we can state:
1). The colour of Byelorussian architecture was formed
for many centuries on the base of countly building malerials with using
of the elements of folk applied art in corresponding with light climat
and landscape characteristics of our region.
2) Among the factors that determine the fomlation of
byelorussian colour culture the most influential is the russian colour
The most interesting monument of Russian architecture
from viewpoint of polychromy Pokrovsky cathedrale in Moscow is. It is designed
from brick and white stone covered with quick lime and painted as a "brick"
by paint on the base of brick. Different kinds of polychromic cupolas of
cathedrale sunround the main gold cupola as a symbol of divine light. Multicolour
decor express here independence and composition activity of polychromy.
Monuments of Naryshkin architecture is pure Russian barocc.lt
is the synthesis of fonn using in wooden architecture of plastic patterns
and of variety of colours.
Arclutecural polychromy of Russian batocc take the times
by nature. The contrast of two or three colours with gilding where the
arehitectollic elements are more bright and the background is more intensive
is ntended for passive perception. The characteristic feature of barocc
polychromy is clear colour dividing of building. In baroque interiors the
architecture, sculpture, painting and decor create the surrounding of richness
and mosaic of colours.
We must also dwell on the deep traditions of light and
colour in the ancient Russian art - icons, frescoes and decorative art.
Moreover, we now openly can speak about another glorious heritage: it is
the famous Russian avantgarde of the 20th. The back perspective of from
and bright decor of icons and folk art were analogous to the cubofuturism,
that appeared in Russia at the beginning of the century.
According to this conception all human culture has experienced
its development through light , through its mythology, trough its magic,
philosophy, religious symbols, through its associations with natural world.
The colour system of old russian icons includs 4 main colours: white, green,
blue and red. They were symbollized 4 elements ( Air, Earth, Water and
Fire) and all seasons also. The gold colour of backgrounds means absolute
of divine light, it is symbol of God, he is everywhere as a symbol of sunshine,
power and will. It is interesting, that there is not any shades in these
icons. All colour of spiritual world was luminous. Black colour is amicolor,
image of darkness and gloom. That's why you can't see black m the icons,
there is only dark-blue and dark-green as a symbol of the earth life.
The artists of avantgard of the 20th ( Kaldinsky, Popova,
Malevich, Filonov and many others were looking for methods of expression
of spiritual development, truth and kindness. Their art was under a strong
influence of primitivismofthe old icons and foe ancient Russian folk art.
Freedom of colour and space formation, interpretation
of constructive device, dynamics and expression are sharacteristicof these
abstract wolta. Here we can find the conception of the unity of colour
and architectonic structure of the creative activity of architects deagners
The main task of our investigation of architectural coloristics
and colour culture as a whole is to develop the professional colouristic
thinking and to possess complet knowledge of colour for successful use
in the architectural projects nowadays.
At present shisis very important wok for our country
and especially for our Minsk as a capital of Byelorussia ,now independent
republic in Eastern Europe which borders on Russia to the East, on the
Ukraine in the South on Poland in the West and on Latvia and Lithuania
in the North.
Our city was founded more than 900 years ago on the crossroads
of the most severe winds of history. Minsk has repeatedly been balbarically
destroyed during wars ever since the times of Kiev Russia one until the
not so distant past. ( l st and 2d World Wars ). Hytlerites, in the course
of the Great Patriotic War, occupied the city and turned it into a concentration
camp and virtually razed it to the ground.
But now Minsk, one of the most fast-growing dries-"mfflionnaires"
of the Europe, has doubled its population. The reconstruction of the "
historical crandle" district "Troitskoye Predmestye", where
Minsk or Mensk, which name originates from the word "mena"( it
means "exchange" ) has already been completed.
The idea of colouristic in the city is based on the conteption
of a "circular- radial" planning of the city as a whole and it
has the following noticeable features:
1). The main city diameter is the Skorina Avenu, crossing
the city from West to the East, bang the most respectable my axes with
the main city squares, is characterized mainly by classical and neoclassical
colour combinations with elements of modernism and constructivism ( while
ochre, red, grey colours).
2).The "green-and-blu" diameters a IqncL of
a belt formed by parks, public gardens, by a cascade of reservoirs) crosses
the city from the North to the South forming the roam recreation zone.
3) The system of vast living zones formed the peripheral
parts of the city and each of the residential areas has own conception
of colour solutions.
For creation of optimum colour climat and achievement
of artistic expressivenessof building, for stimulation of aesthetical perception
we use of colouristic on the level of all ranges of detailed elaboration.
I mean the silhouette, mass of building, tectonics of facade, plasticity
of surface and texture of material.
In order to secure of visual and psychological interaction
of colouristic of reiillenqal area and landscape we tried to use different
means of realization:
- colour confluence of building with laedscape
- contrast of architectural colouristic with natural
- creation of artificial colour landscape that wffl compensate
the lack of natural colours.
For these aims colour and plastic forms may be combined
by analogy and by contrast, another words, by tectonic colour design and
atectonic supergrafic colour design as the expression of modem colour culture.
Besides for determination of connection with artistic
traditions and with colour culture of region as a whole fee byelorusaan
architects try to restorate in colour of building of principale palette
of historical polychromy, using of data about the main laws of historical
formed and modem colour preferences.
For this aim we prepared a special programme of discipline
"Colouristics in Architecture" in the School of Architecture
of the Byelrussian State Poytechnical Academy.
It includs the different main directions: lectures adout
significance of coloring in architecture with its historical analysis,
the study of phisics, psychology, physiology and sociology of colour, but
also the practical exercises and seminars, which help to study the means
and methods needed for paintings, applied arts and architecture in the
terms of colour harmony as a reflection of the general colour culture of
GALLERY ll PROJECTS
ll Dr. SHAKINKO
Question and Wishes to Dr. Larissa M. Shakinko
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