Andrei Rublev

Andrei Rublev (Russian: Андре́й Рублёв, IPA: [ɐnˈdrʲej rʊˈblʲɵf], also transliterated as Andrey Rublyov;[1] born in the 1360s, died 29 January 1427 or 1430, or 17 October 1428 in Moscow) is considered to be one of the greatest medieval Russian painters of Orthodox icons and frescos.

St. Andrei Rublev
1961 CPA 2553
anniversary stamp in 1960
Venerable Father (Prepodobne)
Died29 January 1427 or 1430, or 17 October 1428 (aged 56–70)
Andronikov Monastery, Moscow
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
Canonized6 June 1988, Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra by 1988 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church
Feast29 January, 4 July
AttributesClothed as an Orthodox monk, often shown holding an icon

Early life

Little information survives about his life; even where he was born is unknown. He probably lived in the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, near Moscow, under Nikon of Radonezh, who became hegumen after the death of Sergii Radonezhsky in 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. Theophanes was an important Byzantine master, who moved to Russia and is considered to have trained Rublev.


Chronicles tell us that together with Daniil Cherni he painted the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir in 1408 as well as the Trinity Cathedral in the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius between 1425 and 1427. After Daniil's death, Andrei came to Moscow's Andronikov Monastery where he painted his last work, the frescoes of the Saviour 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 is the icon of the Trinity (c. 1410, currently in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). It is based on an earlier icon known as the "Hospitality of Abraham" (illustrating Genesis 18). Rublev removed the figures of Abraham and Sarah from the scene, and through a subtle use of composition and symbolism changed the subject to focus on the Mystery of the Trinity.

In Rublev's art two traditions are combined: the highest asceticism and the classic harmony of Byzantine mannerism. The characters of his paintings are always peaceful and calm. After some time his art came to be perceived as the ideal of Eastern Church painting and of Orthodox iconography.

Death and legacy

Rublev died at Andronikov Monastery on 29 January 1430 (although 17 October 1428 is also cited). Rublev's work influenced many artists including Dionisy. The Stoglavi Sobor (1551) promulgated Rublev's icon style as a model for church painting. Since 1959 the Andrei Rublev Museum at the Andronikov Monastery has displayed his and related art.

The Russian Orthodox Church canonized Rublev as a saint in 1988, celebrating his feast day on 29 January[2] and/or on 4 July.[2][3][4] The liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America remembers Rublev on January 29.

In 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky made a film Andrei Rublev, loosely based on the artist's life. This became the first (and perhaps only) film produced in the Soviet era to treat the artist as a world-historic figure and Christianity as an axiom of Russia’s historical identity,[5] during a turbulent period in the history of Russia.

Selected works

Baptism (15th c., Annunciation Cathedral in Moscow)

Baptism of Jesus, 1405 (Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow)

Annunciation from Vasilyevskiy chin (1408, Tretyakov gallery)

Annunciation, 1405 (Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow)

Vladimirskaya by A.Rublev (1395-1410s, Vladimir museum)

Version of the Theotokos of Vladimir, ca. 1405

Gabriel from Vladimirskiy chin (15th c., GTG)

St. Gabriel, 1408 (Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir)

Andrew from Vasilyevskiy chin (15th c., GTG)

St. Andrew the First-called, 1408 (Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir)

Gregory of Nazianzus from Vasilyevskiy chin (15th c., GTG)

St. Gregory the Theologian, 1408 (Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir)

Virgin Mary from Vasilyevskiy chin (15th c., GTG)

Theotokos from Deësis, 1408 (Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir) Some think this may be the work of Theophanes the Greek

John the Evangelist from Vasilyevskiy chin (15th c., GTG)

St. John the Theologian, 1408 (Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir)

John the Baptist from Vasilyevskiy chin (15th c., GTG)

St. John the Baptist, 1408 (Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir)

Spas v silach from Vasilyevskiy chin (15th c., GTG)

Saviour in Glory, 1408 (Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir)

Harrowing of hell from Vasilyevskiy chin (1408, Tretyakov gallery)

Harrowing of Hell, 1408-1410 (Vladimir)

Ascension from Vasilyevskiy chin (15th c., GTG)

Ascension, 1408 (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow)

Rublev Paul

Apostle Paul, 1410s (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow)

See also


  • Andrei Rublev, a 1966 film by Andrei Tarkovsky loosely based on the painter's life.
  • Mikhail V. Alpatov, Andrey Rublev, Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1972.
  • Gabriel Bunge, The Rublev Trinity, transl. Andrew Louth, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 2007.
  • Sergius Golubtsov, Voplosh’enie bogoslovskih idey v tvorchestve prepodobnogo Andreya Rubleva [The realization of theological ideas in creative works of Andrey Rublev]. Bogoslovskie trudy 22, 20–40, 1981.
  • Troitca Andreya Rubleva [The Trinity of Andrey Rublev], Gerold I. Vzdornov (ed.), Moscow: Iskusstvo 1989.
  • Viktor N. Lazarev, The Russian Icon: From Its Origins to the Sixteenth Century, Gerold I. Vzdornov (ed.). Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997.
  • Priscilla Hunt, Andrei Rublev’s Old Testament Trinity Icon in Cultural Context, The Trinity-Sergius Lavr in Russian History and Culture: Readings in Russian Religious Culture, vol. 3, ed. Deacon Vladimir Tsurikov, (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Seminary Press, 2006), 99-122.(See on-line at
  • Priscilla Hunt, Andrei Rublev’s Old Testament Trinity Icon: Problems of Meaning, Intertextuality, and Transmission, Symposion: A Journal of Russian (Religious) Thought, ed. Roy Robson, 7-12 (2002–2007), 15-46 (See on-line at
  • Konrad Onasch, Das Problem des Lichtes in der Ikonomalerei Andrej Rublevs. Zur 600–Jahrfeier des grossen russischen Malers, vol. 28. Berlin: Berliner byzantinische Arbeiten, 1962.
  • Konrad Onasch, Das Gedankenmodell des byzantisch–slawischen Kirchenbaus. In Tausend Jahre Christentum in Russland, Karl Christian Felmy et al. (eds.), 539–543. Go¨ ttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1988.
  • Eugeny N. Trubetskoi, Russkaya ikonopis'. Umozrenie w kraskah. Wopros o smysle vizni w drewnerusskoj religioznoj viwopisi [Russian icon painting. Colourful contemplation. Question of the meaning of life in early Russian religious painting], Moscow: Beliy Gorod, 2003 [1916].
  • Georgij Yu. Somov, Semiotic systemity of visual artworks: Case study of The Holy Trinity by Rublev, Semiotica 166 (1/4), 1-79, 2007.


  1. ^ The Getty Union Artist Name List prefers "Rublyov", but "Rublev" is more commonly found.
  2. ^ a b "Saint Herman Calendar 2006". Platina CA: Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood. 2006: 12, 56.
  3. ^ Church Calendar Archived 2006-07-21 at the Wayback Machine. (in Russian)
  4. ^ "Moscow Patriarchate Glorifies Saints", Orthodox America, IX (82), August 1988, archived from the original on 2008-07-05, retrieved 2008-03-16
  5. ^ Hoberman, Jim. "Andrei Rublev". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 2007-12-06.

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