Virtual museum of traditional window covers

Casings in IZHEVSK stand out from the casings of other cities and regions. Always white, bright, with beautiful lace threads they definitely set a festive mood. By the way, Izhevsk was named the cultural capital of the Volga Region in 2004.

Casings in IZHEVSK stand out from the casings of other cities and regions. Always white, bright, with beautiful lace threads they definitely set a festive mood. By the way, Izhevsk was named the cultural capital of the Volga Region in 2004.

Ivan Hafizov
Thousands of photos of various window casings
Photographer Ivan Hafizov has thousands of photos of various window casings. They came from 20 Russian regions. Ivan started his collection with the windows of ENGELS, Saratov region, a few years ago. A window casing is the trim molding that encases a window. It originates from the windowsill and wraps up and around the window.
Casings were the most popular in the Volga region - in Kostroma, Vladimir, Yaroslavl and Nizhny Novgorod regions. MIKHAILOV's windows are colorful, but their colors are unusual - green, blue, burgundy.
No one can define when the tradition of decorating the window emerged. Probably it started in the pagan times when casings were like talismans, designed to protect the inhabitants of the house from evil spirits. As you can see, in RYAZAN all the casings are made in the same color scheme: from reddish to sandy, from terracotta to orange.
Window casings in small Russian towns are similar and the reason of this similarity is quite simple: people obviously did not want to make a design that differs from the other houses of the neighborhood. Look at the casings in MICHURINSK: they have a single method of manufacture, and all of them are painted white (while almost all the houses are painted green).
OMSK is a big modern city, the center of Omsk Region, but fortunately hundreds of houses with casings are still safe. Two main styles of casings could be defined here.
Most of the casings were not saved for many reasons. Main reason is the fragility of wood as a building material. Unfortunately, TULA is quite an example of that. Many wooden houses are abandoned, and obviously they could be demolished soon.
The patterns used by decoration masters in CHEBOKSARY are quite abstract. It is difficult to identify plant or zoomorphic motifs. The other reason for deprivation of window's trims in Russia is that at the end of XIX century, this kind of craftsmanship was very popular, and nobody took it seriously as a phenomenon.
There were some scientific communities like "Ropetovschina" (the last name of the architect I.P.Ropet that actually formed a so-called pseudo-Russian style in the architecture) but generally nobody had ever tried to preserve and review the casings. Though ROSTOV's carved casings are really magnificent. The Second World War fortunately did not affected Rostov, so they are better preserved.
Just recently wood-carving techniques has been studied more closely. IVANOVO trims are vertically elongated, brightly painted with the predominant form in the bottom of the slanted towel-skirts.
TOMSK's window frames are very special. Volume carving and the monochromatism set them apart from the others. There are stretched unpainted casing with floral ornaments made in the technique of volume thread. This technique is very complicated and time consuming.
IRKUTSK's casings strike you with its volumetric thread that looks like fretwork. That make the casings look more solemn and stately, most of them were made under the influence of the Empire style. They are the biggest and practically all of them are with shutters.
Casings in TYUMEN are very unusual. Unpainted or painted in a single color, stylistically they imitate Baroque style. In contrast to the European part of the country - the voluminous thread make even the leaves look massive and majestic. Another feature of the Tyumen trims is a decorated bottom of the casing.
KALUGA's windows are nice, but nothing special remarkable. However, in small towns - local traditions are stronger and the city has maintained its tradition of woodcarving. This project's ultimate goal is to collect pictures of casings from all regions of Russia (and neighboring countries, because such trims are popular also in Belarus and Kazakhstan) and classify it.
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