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Andrei Rublev

Andrei Rublev (Andrew Rublev, Andrey Rublev, Andrey Roublyov) is considered to be the greatest medieval Russian painter of icons and frescoes.

There is little information about his life. It is not known where he was born or when. Most likely Andrei Rublev lived in the Troitse-Sergievskaya Lavra under Nikon of Radonezh around 1392.

The first mention of Rublev is in 1405 when he decorated icons and frescos for the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Moscow Kremlin in company with Theophanes the Greek and Prokhor of Gorodets. His name was the last of the list of masters as the junior both by rank and by age.

Chronicles tell us that in 1408 Andrei painted the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir and the Cathedral of St. Trinity in the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra in 1425-1427. Later the Russian artist Rublev came to Moscow's Andronikov Monastery where he painted his last work, frescoes of the Savior Cathedral.

He is also believed to have painted at least one of the miniatures in the Khitrovo Gospels. The only work authenticated as entirely his own is the icon of the Old Testament Trinity (ca 1410, illustrated above). This masterpiece is now located in the Tretyakov Gallery Museum, Moscow. It is also known as the "Hospitality of Abraham".

rublev1.jpg In Rublev’s art two traditions are combined: the highest asceticism and the classic harmony of Byzantine manners. The characters of his paintings are always peaceful and calm. After some time his art came to be perceived as the ideal of Church painting and of iconic art.

The great Russian artist died at Moscow Monastery around 1430. Andrei Rublev was not recognized as the greatest artist during his life time. It was much later when Rublev’s icon style was announced as a model for church paintings. He was canonized in 1988 by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Since 1959 the Andrei Rublev museum has been open in Andronnikov Monastery, showing the art of the first medieval Russian icon artist whose work greatly influenced the history of Russian culture and style of the Russian Orthodox Church paintings.

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