Princes Vladimir, Boris and Gleb, with the Life of Boris and Gleb

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

Date: XVI century. First quarter of the 15th century

Iconographic school/art center:  Moscow school

Origin: From the Church of John Climacus in Moscow’s Kremlin.

Material: Wood, tempera

Dimensions:  height 138 cm, width 120 cm

One of the rare examples of the depictions of Sts. Boris and Gleb representing them together with their father St. Prince Vladimir. The figures of the princes in the central part of the icon are static and representative. In contrast to the princes, the figures on the side borders are shown in motion.

Border scenes

1. Prince Vladimir is handing a sword to Boris and sends him to battle with the Pechenegs.

2. The entombment of St. Prince Vladimir who died in his son’s absence

3. Svyatopolk gathers the citizens of Kiev (?)

4. Boris and his servant Georgy Ugrin are praying inside a tent in anticipation of death

5. Georgy Ugrin attempts to protect Prince Boris as the assassins burst into the tent

6. The murder of Prince Boris; his body is being carried to Kiev

7. Svyatopolk sends his servant to Gleb to tell him about his father’s illness

8. Prince Gleb heads for Kiev

9. The assassination of Gleb in a boat

10. Prince Gleb’s body is being placed between two logs

11. The transfer of the relics of Princes Boris and Gleb to Vyshgorod

12. The appearance of Boris and Gleb to monk Martin

13. Yaroslav’s battle with the troops of Svyatoslav the Accursed

14. Sick Prince Mstislav of Chernigov is being carried to the tomb of Boris and Gleb for healing

15. The miraculous healing from the relics of Boris and Gleb

16. The death of Svyatopols the Accursed

Inv. NO 14247. © The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Bibliography: Иконопись из собрания Третьяковской галереи. М., 2008. С. 130-131.

  • General view