Title page

DIONYSIUS
(c. 1440-c. 1508)

Biography

Russian painter (also spelt Dionisy, Dionisii; Dionissi). He worked in Moscow and the surrounding towns and in several northern monasteries, including those of Iosifo-Volokolamsky, Ferapontov and St Paul at Obnorsk (founded 1414). Paintings attributed to him represent the apogee of the classicizing style in Russian religious art, although by the end of his life much of his work was apparently done with the help of assistants. Various sources refer to Dionysius, but he is first mentioned in the Life of Pafnuty of Borovsk, which records that he decorated the cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin (Rozhdestvo bogoroditsy) in the Pafnutev Monastery in Borovsk with wall paintings (c. 1467; destroyed), together with the older icon painter, Mitrofan, and their assistants.

According to a chronicle source, in 1481 Dionisy, Timofey, Yarets and Konya painted a Deësis with festivals and prophets (destroyed) for the cathedral of the Dormition (Uspensky) in the Moscow Kremlin and decorated two of the cathedral's chapels with wall paintings. In 1482 Dionysius restored the Greek icon of the Virgin Hodegetria in the monastery of the Ascension (Voznesensky) in the Moscow Kremlin after it was damaged by fire. Between 1484 and 1500 the workshop of Dionysius painted an extensive series of icons for the cathedral in the Iosifo-Volokolamsky Monastery. An inventory of 1545 compiled by a contemporary of Dionysius records that of these works 87 were by Dionysius, 37 by his sons Vladimir and Feodosy and 20 by their colleague Paisy.



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