The leading iconographic centers in the Middle Russian lands in the second half of the 12th century were Vladimir and Suzdal - the towns that played a great role in maintaining the traditions of the Kiev icon-painting. The icons of Our Lady of Bogolyubskoe (the middle of the 12th century), The Savior Emmanuel with Angels (the late 12th century) along with the early Novgorod icons best represent the Byzantine icon-painting legacy in the Ancient Rus art memorials of the 12th century. The most outstanding and solemn art memorial of that time is a monumental icon of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica of the late 12th century. Most typical of the Middle Russian art are the combinations of soft and slightly obscure colors – silvery-blue, grayish-purple, and pink-greenish. The idea of consolidation of the Russian state was expressly manifest in the icons of the Vladimir-Suzdal icon-painting school, which was not left unnoticed by Moscow icon-painters. As Ancient Rus gradually disintegrated into isolated principalities, individual towns were beginning to gain power and influence. The icon-painters became less likely to be guided by the Byzantine art samples, adding their own vision and folklore motives to artwork conception, which breathed fresh air into the art of that time.
Medieval Russian Art Iconographic schools/art centers