From Russia with Love
The First Russian Studies on the Art of Southern Caucasus
The article investigates the perception of the cultural and artistic production of the Southern Caucasus, after the annexation of Georgia in 1801, by three highly educated intellectuals of the time: the Metropolitan Evgeniy Bolkhovitinov, the historian Platon Ioseliani and the artist and architect Grigory Gagarin. Their writings reveal a latent concept of historical pre-eminence of the Caucasian region, and Georgia in particular, as a cultural and sacred outpost of two countries, the Byzantine Empire and the Empire of the Russian Monarchs of the 19th century.
Keywords: Bolkhovitinov • Caucasian region as a Bridge • Gagarin • Ioseliani • Russian Empire • Byzantine Empire