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History of Russia

Andrey Rublev

А.Рублев Троица

ANDREY RUBLEV, Russian artist of the end of 14 - the first third of 15 century, the founder of frescos, icons, miniatures; he was considered to be the saint (he was canonized in 1988, the day of the memory about him is celebrated on July, 17th). He was well-known during his lifetime but he became famous after his death (the chronicles of 1430-1460 years), especially he was glorified since the end of 15 century (« Otveshanie... » Joseph Volotskoi); in 16 century his work became to be the obligatory examples for imitation (the decision of Stoglavii conference 1551).

АрхангелAndrey Rublev's name aroused a lot of legends, and in 20 century - a lot of scientific hypotheses. The real ideas about his art appeared only after the restorational clearing of his icon "Trinity" in 1904, but to the fullest - since 1918 when the frescos of Uspensky cathedral in Vladimir had been cleared and icons from Zvenigorod were found
The first mention about him was in 1405: according to the chronicles he painted Blagoveshchensk cathedral in Moscow Kremlin together with Feofan Greek and old man Prochorus from Gorodets. Andrey Rublev was named «chernets» or The monk, also he was the last registered in the list of names, because he was the youngest
According to «the Legend about the sacred icon painters» (17 century) Andrey Rublev lived in Troitsk monastery under Nikon Radonezhsky,who became the hegumen after the death of Sergy Radonezhsky (1392.)

He was accepted in monks at that place (by the another hypothesis - in Andronikov monastery in Moscow). In 1408, as it is written in the chronicles, together with Daniel Chernyi he painted the ancient (12 century) Uspensky cathedral in Vladimir; and he was considered to be the second after Daniel.

In 1420 according to the certificate «Live of Sergy Radonezhsky» (the edition of Epifanyi the Wise and Pahomy Serb) and «Live of Nikon» ( the certificate of 1430-50) - both masters painted the church of the saint Trinity in Troitsk monastery, constructed instead of old wooden one (1411) in 1423-24 above the coffin of Sergy Radonezhsky. After the death of Daniel, buried in Troitsk monastery, Andrey Rublev came back to Moscow in Andronikov monastery where he made his last work - the painting of a church Spasa (was started about 1426-27 and finished about 1428). He died on January 29th in 1430 in Andronikov monastery (the date was established by D.Baranovsky according to the copy (18th century) of the inscription on the lost tombstone)
ТроицаThere are very few of Andrey Rublev`s works left which were specified in the chronicles: the frescos in Uspensky cathedral in Vladimir and the well-known icon "Trinity" from Troitsky iconostasis in cathedral of Troitsky monastery. From two dates of the writing of the "Trinity", offered by chronicles, - 1411 and 1425-27 - the last one seem to be more probable. Other works mentioned in the certificates, either were not kept, or belong not to Andrey Rublev but to his apprentices  - the members of the artel headed by Daniel Chernyi and Andrey Rublev (iconostasises of Uspensky cathedral in Vladimir and Troitsky cathedral in Troitsky monastery).
Andrey Rublyev also made several works which are not mentioned in the historical chronicles: 1) some miniatures and the initials of gospel Hitrovo at the beginning of 15 century; 2) two icons from Deisus and seven icons from the Celebratory row of iconostasis of Blagoveshchensk cathedral in Moscow Kremlin; 3)in  Zvenigorod : three icons (the Christ, archangel Michael and apostle Paul) from Deisus, consisted at least from seven icons, at the beginning of 15 century; 4) an icon of the Mother of god "Umilenie" from Uspensky cathedral in Vladimir, about 1408 (now it is in a museum of Vladimir); 5) three icons from Deisus (the Christ, Ioan Predtecha and apostle Paul) and one icon from the celebratory row ("Voznesenie") from iconostasis of Uspensky cathedral in Vladimir, 1408; 6) fragments of frescos on altar columns of Uspensky cathedral in Gorodok (Zvenigorod) with the images of Flor, Laur, Varlaam and Ioasaf, Saint Pahomy and the angel who had appeared to him in monastic dress; 7) fragments of frescos on altar barrier of Christmas cathedral in Savvino-Storozhevsky monastery nearby Zvenigorod, 1415-20, with the images of Saint eremites Antonyi the Great and Paul Fivejskyi;
Спас в Силах8) some icons from Deisus of Troitsky cathedral in Troitsky monastery and one of it`s Celebratory raw ("Christening"), about 1428; 9) a small icon « Spas v silah» - at the beginning of 15 century (the State Tretjakovskaja gallery). From all that was listed we can be sure that only the following works belong to Andrey Rublev: miniatures of gospel Hitrovo, Zvenigorod icon and the icon " Mother of god "Umilenie" from Vladimir, and also - probably - the frescos in Uspensky cathedral in Gorodok.
Andrey Rublev accepted the traditions of classicism of Byzantian art of 14 century which he had learnt from the works of the Greek masters who had been to Moscow, and especially from the works of Feofan Greek of Moscow period (Donskaya icon of the Mother of god, icon Deisus in Blagoveshchenskyi cathedral). Another important source for formation of art of Andrey Rublev was the works of Moscow icon school at 14 century with it`s pathetic kindness and special softness of the style, founded on the traditions of Vladimir-Suzdal works of 12 - the beginning of 13 centuries
Апостол Павел
Images of Andrey Rublyov as a whole are adequate to images of the Byzantian art about 1400 year and first thirds of 15 century, but differ from them with their greater mildness and humility; there is nothing from aristocratic nobleness and intellectual dignity in them, which were praised by the Byzantian art, but the preference is given to modesty and simplicity. Faces are Russians, with medium-sized features, without underlined beauty, but always light, comely

Almost all characters are immersed in the state of silent contemplation which can be named « thoughts about god » or « divine speculation »; any internal affects are not characteristic of them. Bisides the silent deep contemplation Andrey Rublev sometimes lend to the images the spiritual delight causing the light of eyes, pacified smiles, luminescence of the whole character (a blowing angel in frescos of Uspensky cathedral), sometimes - high inspiration and radiated strength (apostles Peter and Paul in « Procession of saints going to the Paradise »).

Classical feeling of a composition, rhythms, each separate form, made in clearness, harmony, plastic perfection, of Andrey Rublev is so irreproachable as at the Greek masters of first third of 15 century. But to add to this, sometimes  Andrey Rublev soften a little the features of classical system: roundity of the form is not emphasized, illusion moments are absent (for example, anatomically true transfering of joints), owing to that volumes and surfaces seem changed, - as well as in the Byzantian art, every form at Andrey Rublev appears to be changed, spiritualized with Divine energy. It is was achieved by the techniques, which are general for all Byzantian art: laconic contours and silhouettes giving weightlessness to the figures ; closed parabolic lines which make the thoughts be focused and adjusted to contemplation; thin outlines of folds of the clothes, adding fragility to the materials; the light saturation of each color making the colour shine, etc. However Andrey Rublev changed these general Byzantian features of style of early 15 century, because the ideal classical forms, habitual for the Greek masters since antique times, were not value for him. Besides, to the qualities peculiar to all Byzantian art, Andrey Rublev added features, characteristic of Russian art of the end 14 - the beginning of 15 centuries: lines became smooth, rhythms - musical, turns of figures and their heads - soft, cloths - airly, colourful scale - light and gentle. In everything was shine harmony of Paradise and simultaneously - disposition to the person, kindness.
АнгелThe sources of contemplate depth of perception of Andrey Rublev are in spiritual situation of the late 14 century - under Sergy Radonezhsky, and of the early 15 century - under his apprentices. It was the time of high dissemination of isihazm in Byzantium, which got the wide support in Russia. The intonation of paradise harmony penetrating the artistic career of Andrey Rublyov is characteristic of art of all Christian world of the first half of 15 century - Byzantium (frescos of Pantanass in Mistr, about 1428), Serbia (frescos of Manasija before 1418 and Kalenich about 1413), the Western Europe (Gentsky altar of Yan Van Ejk, 1432; works of Fra Beato Andzheliko).
Andrey Rublyov's artistic career marked the blossoming of national school of Russian painting in 15 century, beeing original in comparison with Byzantium. It had the great influence on all Russian Moscow art till Dionisy.

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