18 July 2022, 10:02
Rublev's Trinity icon delivered to Trinity Lavra for first time since 1917 Revolution
Moscow, July 18, Interfax - Andrey Rublev's famous Trinity icon was delivered to the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius on the night of July 17 for the first time since the 1917 October Revolution for largescale celebrations marking the 600th anniversary of the discovery of the relics of Saint Sergius of Radonezh that began there on Sunday.
"The icon was delivered from the Tretyakov Gallery accompanied by employees of the museum tonight. It will be placed in a special display case at the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Lavra, in its original place, on July 17 and on July 18. For two days believers will be able to worship the shrine," head of the Trinity Lavra's press service Tatyana Denisyuk told Interfax.
The Trinity icon painted by Rublev in the 15th century, is the most famous of his artworks and one of the two (along with the frescoes in Vladimir) preserved artworks, which scientists believe to be definitely his.
According to previous media reports, the Tretyakov Gallery was opposed to the taking of Rublev's icon from the gallery, which it only left during the Great Patriotic War evacuation. Interfax does not yet have any comments from the gallery or the Russian Culture Ministry on the matter.
The possibility of bringing the Trinity icon to the Trinity Lavra, where it was historically kept, was first broadly discussed in 2008. At the time, a number of Russian art experts gave some emotional comments on the issue in the media.
Senior researcher from the Tretyakov Gallery's ancient Russian art department Levon Nersesyan, who was the first to call on the public to oppose the possible trip of the icon, described the Lavra as an "almost fatal" environment even for the temporary storage of the shrine. At the same time, the transfer of the Trinity icon once a year from the gallery to the Church of St. Nicholas in Tolmachi is "dangerous, but not fatal," the expert said.
Head of the ancient Russian art department of the Culture Ministry's State Institute for Art Studies Lev Livshits, in turn, called "awful" the climate in the Lavra's Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the icon was expected to be displayed.
At the same time, chief curator of the Tretyakov Gallery and deputy director of accounting and restoration Yekaterina Seleznyova noted that experts have no right to "give up negotiations with the Church." However, "anyone who deals with ancient Russian art and knows the condition of Rublev's icon understands that it cannot be transported 70 kilometers away (even if in special cases or in flasks)," another representative of the Tretyakov Gallery and first deputy director of the gallery Lidia Iovleva said.
Senior researcher of the museum named after Andrey Rublev, Archpriest Alexander Saltykov said that it is wrong "to move the icons from place to place." In his opinion, the shrine should be returned to its "rightful owner," and the Trinity Lavra is the icon's home. For her part, art expert Yelena Rodnina spoke about the necessity of preserving the icons at 18-20 degrees Celsius and at 50-55% humidity. Otherwise, "the icon could be irreversibly damaged." "Shaking during the transportation of the icon is also harmful to it and contributes to the crumbling of the paint. The wooden icon board suffers most from changes in humidity and temperature, or simply bends," she said.