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Keywords: Christmas traditions, wassails tradition, mummer tradition, urban folklore, folklore and painting.
For citation:

Sorokina S.P. Representation of Christmas Rituals in Leonid Solomatkin’s Paintings as a Folkloristic and Ethnographic Source. Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 1, pp. 330–347. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-1-330-347

Author: Svetlana P. Sorokina
Information about the author:

Svetlana P. Sorokina, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, Moscow 121069, Russia.
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Received: December 16, 2018
Published: March 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №1
Department: Folklore Studies
Pages: 330-347
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-1-330-347
UDK: 398
BBK: 82.3

Abstract

When studying folklore, knowledge of its contextual framework and social functions is of particular importance. For example, the study of the tradition of Russian nineteenth-century realist painting is especially relevant for the understanding of those folklore phenomena where the performing principle played a prominent role. The article examines the paintings of the artist L.I. Solomatkin that represented Christmas rituals (wassailing and mummer tradition) in the urban environment. Analysis of the paintings that represented wassails tradition suggests that in the urban environment of the 1870s, this tradition appears as largely formalized and mediated by the “framework” of commodity-money relations. Former ritual that engaged and brought together its participants gave place to the formalized routine that implied monetary exchange. However, this tradition remained integral part of the urban Christmas festivities, not only for the singers, but also for the listeners, since for the latter the arrival of the singers was a sign of social prestige. The painting that represents mummer tradition, instead, is a proof that in the urban environment of the second half of the 19 th century, this rite preserved its inherent “scary-fun” atmosphere.

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