Since time of first Christians, they attached very great importance to church interior. Tracks of fresco images of Christian symbols are preserved on wall of many catacombs. Later, while process of forming of church theology and arts, wall scences became an integral part of Christian temple in its symbolic perception as a ship sailing over abysses of sinful world to Heavens Harmony and Paradise Beauty. They were recognized as the Bible for illiteracy - they had narrative function first. Later the church panting goal became wider, till theology and, really esthetic tasks. The beauty of Byzantium temples helped to select orthodox faith to the saint prince Vladimir. Though the narrative task of painting is actual even in our century of general literacy. What about theological task, it percepts in inseparable relation with narrative, but by people, knowing aware The Holy Scripture and The Church Legend
Fresco, which has the main theological load, traditionally located in altar. "God's entailment" - image of God's Mother with Child, Oranta (with hands lifted in prayer) or on the Throne is usually resides in main central temple apse. Below - Eucharistia is usualy painted, and next are scenes of sacrificial meaning.
These are as usual "Avraam's Sacrifice", "Don't Cry For Me Mammy...",
"St. Ioann Baptist - Angel Of Desert" with sacrifice chalice with infant
Christ in it, "Etymasia" - cross and torture instruments.
This means that altar panting images are the main Christian meanings - Lord's
becoming into human and His Sacrificial.
As usual in lower altar part there are images of
liturgists - St. Ioann Chrizostome, St. Vasily The Greate and St. Grigory
Temple's dome - that is Heaven's image.
In it's center - The Lord,
surrounded by heavens forces.
Below - prophets.
Below - evangelists (usually
More below - scences from Our Lord's earth living.
Further may be different images of saints or episodes of there lifes.
Old testament's human history usually is painting not in
chetveric, but in trapesnaya.
Though variants are possible.
On west wall usually placed scene of Terrible Court. Really this
has no goal to frighten, but this is a symbol of expectation of all Christians on
establishment of God's Truth on Earth and on mankind's returning to
the source Paradise condition.
Absence of fresco panting in some temples at present, is explained by two
First - shortage of finances.
Second - even if there is availability of money, - difficulties of restoring.
Most of preserved temples have culture-hitorical value. Reconstruction of their
paintign bounds with difficult bureaucratic problems.
That's why there are trends to formally-estetic decisions of this problem
(abudance of cornices and friezes, multinomial niches or solely ornamental
painting). This cannot be qualified as flagrant defiance of the canon,
but therefore this is a serious departure from orthodox Christian tradition.
Russion text of article.