Russian icon painter and monk; b. c. 1360, origin and birthplace unknown; d. at Spasso-Andronikov monastery, Moscow, Jan. 29, 1430. Rublëv grew up during the wars of liberation against the Tartars and very early put himself under the spiritual direction of St. Nikon, successor to St. Sergius, at the monastery of the Holy Trinity near Moscow. Nothing is known of his artistic training, but it is recorded that he collaborated in 1405 on the Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow. In 1408, along with his fellow monk and painter Daniil Chernyĭ, he worked on the frescoes of the Uspenskiĭ cathedral, Vladimir. Later the same two collaborators worked at the Spasso-Andronikov monastery in Moscow and at the monastery of the Holy Trinity, where Rublëv executed his most famous painting, the "Old Testament Trinity," now in the Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow.
All Rublëv's work bears the imprint of the spiritual heritage of St. Sergius; it is a direct expression of the Orthodox spiritual movement known as hesychasm. His exceptional artistic gifts combined with an extraordinary depth of spiritual insight to make him leader of a whole group of Russian icon-painters whose work represents the culmination of Orthodox church art in the 14th and 15th centuries. His work represents a vivid expression in Christian art of the principles of composition and the harmony inherent in classical art. It is characterized by a remarkable sense of proportion, a most striking harmony of colors, and a rhythmic suppleness of line. The simplicity and economy of his art serve to express the deep theological content of the image. His influence on the development of Russian icon painting through the 17th century was immense.
Bibliography: v. n. lazarev, "Andrei Rublëv i ego shkola," Akademiia Nauk SSSR, Institut Istorii Iskusstv, Istoriia russkogo iskusstva, ed. j. e. grabar' (Moscow 1953–) 3:102–186. m. v. alpatov, Andrei Rublëv (Moscow 1959). g. h. hamilton, The Art and Architecture of Russia (Baltimore 1954) 86–88. e. voordekkers, "Rublëv's Old Testament Trinity, " Eastern Church Quarterly 14 (1961) 96–118, 166–176.