Ivan Viskovatyi

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Viskovatyi, Ivan Mikhailovich


Year of birth un-known; died July 25, 1570, in Moscow. A major figure in the government of Ivan IV the Terrible in the 1550’s and 1560’s.

In 1542, Viskovatyi became a minor official in the Posol’skii Prikaz (Foreign Office); in 1549, its head; in 1553, a secretary of the Boyar Duma; and in 1561, keeper of the tsar’s seal. He played a leading role in foreign policy, sup-porting the initiation of the Livonian War, which he believed necessary for the economic development of Russia.

Viskovatyi sharply protested against innovations in the painting of icons. Some sources believe that he took part in editing the Litsevyi Code (a 16th-century illustrated chronicle code). He was put to death on suspicion of participation in the boyar plot and traitorous relations with Poland, Turkey, and the Crimea.


Sadikov, P. A. Ocherki po istorii oprichniny. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Zimin, A. A. Reformy Ivana Groznogo: Ocherki sotsial’noekonomicheskoi i politicheskoi istorii Rossii serediny XVI v. Moscow, 1960.
Zimin, A. A. Oprichnina Ivana Groznogo. Moscow, 1964.
Andreev, N. E. “Ob avtore pripisok v Litsevykh svodakh Groznogo.” Trudy Otdela drevnerusskoi literatury, 1962, vol. 18.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(2) A competing interpretation attributed them to a prominent courtier named Ivan Viskovatyi, who was executed in 1570.
The names of several clerics associated with the Annunciation appeared during the investigation of Secretary Ivan Viskovatyi's complaints about the redecoration of the cathedral and the palace after the fire of 1547: the priests Sil'vestr, Simeon, Vasilii, and Archpriest Andrei (the future Metropolitan Afanasii).
At much the same time, artists in the Kremlin were facing similar stresses, as revealed by the complaints of Ivan Viskovatyi, an educated, worldly-wise bureaucrat (d'iak) in the Foreign Affairs Chancery.