Princes Boris and Gleb, Sts., with scenes from the life of Vladimir, Boris and Gleb

Iconography:  Boris, St. Prince Martyr (baptized as Roman), Gleb, St. Prince Martyr (baptized as David), Hagiographic cycle of Boris and Gleb, Житийный цикл Владимира

Date: XVII century. The first third of the 17th c.

Origin: From a church of the Trinity Convent in Murom

Material: Wood, tempera

Dimensions:  height 115 cm, width 80 cm

In the center two princes in princely fur-coats and hats are shown praying to the Holy Virgin, depicted above, in a segment of heaven. Despite the lack of a St. Prince Vladimir image in the central part of the Trinity Convent icon, its unique border scenes cycle represents itself the hagiography of Vladimir. Most of the border scenes are dedicated to his choice of faith, the baptism and wedding. One composition shows Svyatopolk the Accursed complotting the assassination of his brothers. Saint Boris and Gleb are shown only in four border scenes dedicated to their death. The hagiographic cycle of the Murom icon is a combination of two different cycles – the traditional hagiography of Boris and Gleb and, a rarer one, dedicated to the Conversion of Rus by Prince Vladimir. 

Border scenes: 

1-3 The choice of faith. 

1. Vladimir talks to the envoys 

2. Vladimir accepts the envoys 

3. Vladimir’s march on Korsun 

4. Vladimir holds a counsel with the boyars and the elders on the choice of faith and decides to send envoys to the Bulgars, Germans and Greeks 

5. The Russian envoys before emperors Basil and Constantine 

6. Basil and Constantine bless the marriage of his sister Anne with prince Vladimir 

7. Vladimir meets the Greek princess Anne 

8. Vladimir adopts Christianity 

9. Vladimir meets the Kievan boyars 

10. Vladimir marries princess Anne 

11. Vladimir orders to destroy the idols 

12. The conversion of the Kievans 

13. Vladimir gives lands to his sons 

14. The Dormition of St. Vladimir 

15. and his entombment in a church 

16. Sviatopolk orders the killing of his brother Boris 

17. The killing of Boris 

18. Gleb in prayer 

19. The body of Gleb lying between two blocks 

20. The translation of Boris’s relics 

Deposited in the Museum on February 10, 1930 Restored in April 1936 in the Murom Museum by I.I.Tyulin 

  • General view