Guslitsy of the Moscow Region: on the History of Printing and Icon-painting in the Local Old Believers Settlement
The two elements of the Old Believers culture in the Guslitsy settlement: the rewriting of singing manuscripts and icon-painting. This region is located in the Eastern part of the Moscow area. The local Old Believers were known to be the best of singing manuscripts scribes and icon-painters in Russia. Books with so called “guslitsa” head-painting can still be found in the Old Believers churches throughout Russia. Guslitsy icon-painters worked in Siberia, Ural and other Russian regions. Although a number of researchers paid their attention to both topics they still remain understudied. Some specific issues related to the villages of the region where well-known craftsmen wrote books and painted icons are considered. The reason for these two elements of Old Believers’ culture to appear in Guslitsy is also of some interest. Manuscripts rewriting was adopted from Old Believers living in the other region – Vetka round 1770s. Manuscripts were copied in the villages: Belivo, Mistsevo, Ustianovo, Zagriazhskaya, Zavolenie, Kurovskaya and some other. There is correlation between the localities where manuscripts were rewritten and Old Believers’ monasteries set up by Vetka refugees. The icons were writer in village of Zakhod, Antsyferovo, Yakovlevskaya and other localities, situated mainly in the Western part of the region. Centers of icon painting in this region in most cases do not coincide with the places where books were copied, leading to think of some other reason of its emerging. Particular settlements where in the past manuscripts were rewritten and icon were painted are enumerated.