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The Magna Carta as a legal act, a cultural and historical artifact and an object of fine art

Аndreeva G.N.


The article gives a comprehensive description of the Magna Carta of 1215 in the totality of three aspects as a legal act, a cultural and historical artifact and an object of fine art. The author proceeds from the fact that the originality of each of the aspects reinforces and strengthens the rest, giving special uniqueness to the Magna Carta of 1215 and turning it into an important element of modern culture. To analyze each of the aspects, the corresponding scientific method is used: comparativistic, formallogical, source-research, retrospective, semiotic, etc. The characterization of the Magna Carta of 1215 as a legal act reflects its place in the legal system of Great Britain as part of the country's constitution. At the same time, special attention is paid to the ambiguous situation of its adoption. The article shows that this is a legal instrument that has had a huge impact on the formation of modern ideas about the constitutional system around the world, especially with regard to human rights. Considered as a cultural and historical artifact, the Great Charter of Liberties has a whole set of features that give it special value and make the preserved specimens unique. The circumstances associated with its adoption, the materials and ink used at that time to produce official documents, the methods of authenticating the document and other historical and cultural features of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta of 1215 make it an interesting object of historical and cultural research. As an object of fine art, the Great Charter of Liberties was embodied both in serious monumental works and in caricatures; both in the works of artists and sculptors creating works of elitist art, and in works related to mass culture. The latter is illustrated by examples of images on clothing and vector Internet culture.


Great Charter of Liberties; unwritten constitution of Great Britain; copies of the act; historical significance; cultural value; object of fine art; mass culture.

DOI: 10.31249/hoc/2022.02.09

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