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Andronikov Monastery


The monastery was founded by Moscow Metropolitan Saint Alexis in 1360, but received its name from its first abbot, Andronik, a follower and pupil of Saint Sergius. Rublev's popularity grew rapidly and invitations to work came from several places. Grand Duke Vasilii was one of the first to appreciate his way o painting, and when the time came to decorate his private chapel,. Rublev's name was one of the three top painters. The Chronicle mentions his name only twice to say a few words about him in biographies of prominent clergymen who knew him. They say the most about a particular church that he decorated, but with the exception of the "Trinity" icon, they never specified actual works. Since his name is mentioned with other iconographers, they obviously worked as a team; but some Soviet art critics doubtfully ascribe certain icons in the iconostasis of the Cathedral of the Annunciation to Theophan the Greek and certain to Rublev, leaving the elder Prokhor almost completely out.
It is more or less accepted practice to ascribe to Theophan the three most important icons from the Deisus Chin, namely, Christ, the Virgin and Saint John, and to Rublev several icons from the "Holiday" tier, such as the "Annunciation, the Nativity, the Transfiguration, etc. There is no doubt that at that time Theophan was Russia's top artist, and it would be normal for him to have dominated the scene and reserved for himself the most important icons of the Deisus tier. Regardless who painted what, the iconostasis of the cathedral of Annunciation, and particularly its "Deisus Tier," is a superb collection of beautiful icons. Though each one shows only the figure of a saint, as an entity they show a very festive and masterfully done composition.




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