Project for the interior of the lower saint Ilya Muromets church

Location: Pokrovka village, Klin district, Moscow region, Russia.
Head of the project: Dmitry Ostroumov
3D modeler: Ulyana Moyseychik
Architect: Maria Koroleva
Artists: Maria Latyshonok, Anton Daineko
Year: 2023
The features of the project are determined by the functional purpose of the church (the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism) and its dedication to Saint Ilya of Murom (or Saint Ilya of Pechersk Lavra).

Ilya Muromets is a hero of epic legend and a Christian saint. According to tradition, he lived in the days of Grand Prince Vladimir the Red Sun, the Baptist of Rus. The Rurikid family, to which Prince Vladimir belonged, had Scandinavian roots. The era of the reign of this dynasty in Kyiv is characterized by a complex interweaving of the cultures of the Varangians (Vikings), the Slavs, and the Byzantine Greeks. This was influenced by the route “from the Varangians to the Greeks” passing through Rus. That was the water route along which merchant ships traveled from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
When developing the project, we were inspired by the northern motifs, such as the ornaments of medieval Scandinavia and the Russian North. Another inspiration was the art of Northern Art Nouveau (early 20th century). One of its centers was Saint Petersburg, along with Stockholm, Riga and Helsinki.

The leitmotif of the interior is a northern longboat sailing on the river waves. In the context of the temple, it symbolizes the Church, the Ship of Salvation.

Instead of frescoes, the church will be decorated with iconographic images using the sgraffito technique. Several layers of plaster of different colors are laid on the wall and then scratched through. This technique was popular among the masters of the Italian Renaissance and the European Art Nouveau movement. Russian muralists of the 20th century often used it, too.
The Baptism of the Lord will be depicted on the northern wall of the church, and the Baptism of Rus on the southern wall. In the sanctuary, there will be the image of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.

To the right of the iconostasis, there are two columns. On the right column, there is an icon of Saint Ilya Muromets standing in a ship. On the left, there is an icon of Saint Equal-to-the-Apostles, Grand Prince Vladimir, and Grand Princess Olga. They also stand in a ship and hold the Cross. The images on the columns are decorated with ornaments referring to the motifs of Russian fairy tales and Northern Art Nouveau.

On the ceiling, there will be circles with images of Christ Pantocrator, Our Lady of the Sign, and a six-winged Seraph, also made using the sgraffito technique.

Various modifications of the shape of the circle, symbolizing perfection and completeness, are also present in the floor design. It depicts a stylized flow of water interweaving the whole space of the church.
The altar barrier is low, of the Byzantine type. The design of the Royal Doors and the Deacon's Door uses the motif of a boat.

The project includes the design of the altar, the prothesis, the analogion with ciborium, the corona lucis (large, medium, and small), the lamps, and the icon. They are all designed in the same ascetic northern style.