(b. ca. 1360, ?, d. 1430, Moscow)

Holy Trinity

c. 1411
Egg tempera on wood, 142 x 114 cm
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Rublyov is regarded as the greatest Russian icon-painter of all, and his icon of the Holy Trinity, painted for the Sergey-Trinity monastery, is the most famous of all Russian icons. This icon is a masterpiece of ancient Russian iconography, and the Church established it as the model for depicting the Trinity.

In Rublyov's icon, the persons of the Holy Trinity are shown in the order in which they are confessed in the Credo. The first angel is the first person of the Trinity - God the Father; the second, middle angel is God the Son; the third angel is God the Holy Spirit. All three angels are blessing the chalice, in which lies a sacrificed calf, prepared for eating. The sacrifice of the calf signifies the Saviour’s death on the cross, while its preparation as food symbolizes the sacrament of the Eucharist. All three angels have staffs in their hand as a symbol of their divine power.