Open main menu

Lydia Aleksandrovna Durnovo (Russian: Лидия Александровна Дурново; 1885 – 1963) was a Soviet Russian art historian and art restorer.[2] She specialized in medieval art, especially in early Russian painting and Armenian illuminated manuscripts (miniatures) and frescoes.[3]

Lydia Durnovo
Born13 May [O.S. 1 May] 1885
Smolensk, Russian Empire
DiedJanuary 7, 1963(1963-01-07) (aged 82)
Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union
NationalityRussian, Soviet
Other namesLydia Durnova (used until 1952 as a pseudonym to cover up her aristocratic roots)[1]
OccupationArt history
AwardsHonored Art Worker of the Armenian SSR (1945)[2]

Born in the Russian city of Smolensk, Durnovo first attended a local gymnasium and a painting school before moving to Saint Petersburg where she attended the School of Technical Drawing of Baron Alexander von Stieglitz beginning in 1903.[1] She subsequently completed her postgraduate studies at the State Institute of Art History (Государственный институт истории искусств) and the Archaeology Institute (ru) between 1920 and 1923.[1] Durnovo worked as a research fellow at the Archaeology Institute, specializing in early Russian art. She was also the assistant curator of the Russian Museum.[1]

In October 1933 she was arrested for allegedly being an "active member of a counterrevolutionary fascist organization." She was deported to Siberia and eventually freed three years later, in November 1936.[4] Durnovo moved to the Armenian capital of Yerevan and became a member of the staff of the National Gallery of Armenia. Until 1951 she was devoted to the study of medieval Armenian frescoes and illuminated manuscripts.[1] She specialized in medieval Armenian art,[5] and by the mid-1950s Durnovo earned the reputation of an authoritative expert in the field.[1] She supervised the restoration of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral's frescoes.[2] She was rehabilitated by the Soviet government in 1956.[1]


  • Собрание копий памятников древнерусской монументальной живописи Государственного института истории искусств. Л., 1925.
  • Техника древнерусской живописи. Русский музей. Художественный отдел. Материалы по технике и методам реставрации древнерусской живописи. Л., 1926.
  • Техника древнерусской фрески. Секция пространственных мастеров и научно-показательная часть. Техника стенописи. Гос. академия художественных наук. М., 1927.
  • Икона Спаса Нерукотворного (№ 3045. Гос. русский музей). Сб. «Материалы по русскому искусству», т. I. Л., 1928.
  • Древнеармянская миниатюра [Old Armenian miniature] (in Russian). Yerevan: Armenian SSR State Publishing. 1952.
  • Краткая история древнеармянской живописи [Brief History of Ancient Armenian Painting] (in Russian). Yerevan: Armenian SSR State Publishing. 1957.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Vasilkov, Ya. V.; Sorokina, M. Yu. (2003). "Дурново, Лидия Александровна [Durnovo, Lydia Aleksandrovna]". Люди и судьбы. Биобиблиографический словарь востоковедов - жертв политического террора в советский период (1917-1991) [People and Destinies. Bibliographic Dictionary of Orientalists: Victims of political terror in the Soviet period (1917-1991)] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Petersburg Oriental Studies. Archived from the original on 2014-09-07.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b c "Դուռնովո Լիդիա Ալեքսանդրովնա [Durnovo Lydia Aleksandrovna]". Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia (in Armenian). 3. Yerevan. 1977. p. 461.
  3. ^ Lazarev, V. N. (1963). "Лидия Александровна Дурново [Lydia Aleksandrovna Durnovo]" (PDF). Vizantijski Vremennik (in Russian). Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences.
  4. ^ "Дурново Лидия Александровна [Durnovo Lydia Aleksandrovna]" (in Russian). Moscow: Sakharov Center. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014.
  5. ^ "COLLECTION / Armenian Painting". Yerevan: National Gallery of Armenia. Retrieved 7 September 2014.