Icon painting is one of the most ancient human crafts, which originated in the early days of Christianity. However, despite the long and rich history of this unique form of art, there are only a few icon painters whose names are known to the world. The most influential among them is Andrei Rublev, the father of antique Russian icons. Rublev revolutionized icon painting, becoming the greatest Russian icon painter of all time.
Short note on biography
The life of Andrei Rublev remains the mystery hidden under the veil of historic dust. Almost no details about him and his family are known. The first mention in the chronicles is dated 1405 when Rublev created frescoes and icons for the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Moscow Kremlin.
It is believed that Andrei Rublev was born in Moscovia and was taught by Theophanes the Greek, a significant Byzantine icon painter of the time. The young master also worked with Daniil Chyorny and some other notable artists when creating icons and frescoes for different cathedrals and churches. For today, the most famous work attributed to Rublev is “The Trinity” (1425), which is, without exaggeration, a legendary piece of religious art, known around the world.
Fabulous icons by Andrei Rublev influenced many icon painters of the next generation. His art represents a mixture of traditional Russian and classic Byzantine styles in combination with a highly unique approach to painting. It is also important to note that in 1988, Rublev was canonized as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Unfortunately, not many works that can be attributed to Andrei Rublev survived to this day. Among the most notable are icons of St. Michel and St. Gabriel (1408), icon of the Apostle Paul (1410s), icon of Christ the Redeemer (c. 1410), icon of the Nativity of Christ (1405), and icon of the Annunciation (1405). However, as it has been already said, the main masterpiece of the icon painter is “The Trinity,” also called “The Hospitality of Abraham.” The legendary icon depicts the scene in which three angels are visiting Abraham at the Oak of Mamre and is distinguished by strong symbolism and multiple interpretations.
Andrei Rublev is, without a doubt, the most brilliant Russian icon painter of all time. We highly recommend that you visit the Tretyakov Gallery, the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Moscow Kremlin, or the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir to see his amazing works with your own eyes.