Icon of the Old Testament Trinity
3 Feb 2015 | From Kris of Russia
Andrei Rublev, a famous medieval painter of orthodox icons and frescos, is considered the pride and glory of Russian culture. He is one of the finest late Medieval Old Masters of Russia, and probably her most famous iconographer. He is renowned for the Old Testament icon painting known as the Holy Trinity (c.1411, tempera/wood, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). It is his most famous work, as well regarded as one of the highest achievements of Russian art. Trinity depicts the three angels who visited Abraham at the Oak of Mamre, but the painting is full of symbolism and often interpreted as an icon of the Holy Trinity. This exquisite work of Russian art, with its delicate modelling and greater sense of pictorial depth, marks a subtle step away from the flat hieratic traditions of Byzantine art towards the new forms pioneered by Giotto and other Proto Renaissance artists.
There is little information available on Andrei Rublev’s life. It is not known where he was born but he probably lived in the Trinity St. Sergey Monastery in the small town of Sergiev Posad near Moscow. He was a monk under Nikon of Radonezh, who succeeded Sergey of Radonezh, a famous saint and Father Superior of the monastery. Rublev’s contemporaries described him as “a kind and quiet person, filled with light.” They said he was “unusually focused” and that “everything he created was a result of his deep thoughts.”