Illustrated Codex of Chronicles

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Illustrated Codex of Chronicles


a chronicle codex compiled between the 1540’s and 1560’s, consisting of ten volumes containing about 9,000 leaves decorated with 16,000 miniatures. It covers the period “from the creation of the world” to the year 1567. The compilation of the codex took more than 30 years, with some interruptions. The text was prepared by scribes from the entourage of the metropolitan Makarii, and the miniatures were executed by artists in the metropolitan’s and royal workshops. A. F. Adashev took part in the compilation of the codex.

The historically accurate depiction of buildings, fortifications, clothing, artisans’ tools, agricultural equipment, and everyday utensils of different periods attests to the existence of still earlier illustrated chronicles that served as models for the illustrators of the 16th-century codex. The pictorial material, about two-thirds of the total volume of the codex, systematically illustrates the historical texts. Within the scope of the miniatures in the codex, one may speak of the origin and development of the landscape, historical, and battle genres and of the depiction of scenes from everyday life.


Artsikhovskii, A. V. Drevnerusskie miniatiury kak istoricheskii istochnik. Moscow, 1944.
Podobedova, O. I. Miniatiury russkikh istoricheskikh rukopisei: K istorii russkogo litsevogo letopisaniia. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.