Holy Trinity (Troitsa)

Iconography:  Hospitality of Abraham’s (The Old Testament Trinity)

Date: XV century. 1425–1427.

Iconographic school/art center:  Moscow school

Icon-painter: Rublev, Andrei

Origin: From Holy Trinity Cathedral, The Trinity Lavra.

Material: Wood, tempera

Dimensions:  height 141,5 cm, width 114 cm

The scene of silent conversation between the three angels is brilliantly conveyed by the iconographer through the gestures of their hands: the left angel (God the Father) is blessing the sacrificial chalice-bowl, the central angel (God the Son) is ready to accept it with his hand, in a symbolic position of the fingers, pulled down, and the pose showing a filial obedience to his Father’s will and the readiness for self-sacrifice; the right angel the Holy Spirit) appears to assert the high meaning of the sacrificial and all-forgiving love. Unlike many other compositions of this kind, there is only one chalice with the calf’s head on the table – the symbol of the New Testament’s lamb. The silhouette of the chalice rhythmically repeats itself in the outlines of the inner contours of the left and the right angels constituting a big Eucharist chalice inside which is the central angel – Jesus Christ.

Inv. NO 13012. © The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Bibliography: Иконопись из собрания Третьяковской галереи. М., 2008. С. 114-115.

  • General view