Olga Shutova. Once again on Francysk Skaryna’s portrait, or the Importance of “reading” the engravings (author’s cut)

Title page. Compilatio Leupoldi Ducatus [О. Ш. : компиляция Иоганна Сакробоско] austrie filis de astrorum scientia decem continentis tractatus. Pavia, 1513. Source : Gallica, Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Published in Belarus: Крынiцазнаўства i спецыяльныя гостарычныя дысцыплнны. Рэд. О. Л. Лiпнiцкая, С. М. Ходзiн. Мiнск: Выд. Белдзяржунiверсiтэта, 2015.

This article shows some perspectives of “in-depth” reading of already well-known documents (i.e. the portrait of Francysk Skaryna), discovering anew certain details in Skaryna’s symbolism and his biography. Various topics are studied: Francysk Skaryna’s portrait symbols, printer’s devices, Datia / Denmark problem, solar eclipse / Francysk Skaryna’s birthday. After the first attempts to evaluate Skaryna’s case in the context of the academic life and medical studies of Renaissance Europe (which allowed to identify certain personalities of his doctoral defense – like famous scribe Bartolomeo Sanvito linked with many Italian humanists, e.g. illustrious Aldo Manuzio)* (*Read in English article Again About Skaryna in Padua: New Possibilities of Reading the Old Documents. In Three Parts; or in Russian И вновь о Скорине в Падуе: новые возможности прочтения старых документов. Время, контекст, обстоятельства, присутствующие), this paper seeks to re-examine Francysk Skaryna’s portrait. Could we move further in understanding of the symbols of Skaryna’s portrait? Such investigation completes the canonical (probably too canonical) image of Francysk Skaryna, who often has been simplified as a singular Renaissance intellectual, “lost in translation” in Belarus. Obviously, Francysk Skaryna’s connections with the world of European Renaissance were much stronger than it was previously thought. Such names as B. Sanvito, G. van Ghemen, J. Veldener and possibly de W. de Worde, J. Lettou, P. Liechtenstein and others in connection with Francysk Skaryna, allow us to see Skaryna’s activity in the wider European context.

Read the full text of the article in Russian: Вновь портрет Франциска Скорины, или о необходимости «читать» гравюры (оригинал статьи на русском в авторском варианте)

Olga Shutova

Olga Shutova (also Volga Shutava), Ph.D. (1997) is a Belarusian historian, historiographer, writer. In 1995-2007 – Associate Professor at the Belarusian State University. Author of more than 50 articles and 4 monographs in Intellectual History, Historiography, History of Belarus and Francysk Skaryna Studies.