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The Last Judgment

Andrey Rublev • Fresco, 1408
About the artwork
Art form: Fresco
Subject and objects: Religious scene
Style of art: Byzantine style
Date of creation: 1408
Artwork in collection: My collection Tatyana Somova
Artwork in selections: 12 selections

Description of the artwork «The Last Judgment»

The frescoes of Andrei Rublev in the Assumption Cathedral of Vladimir are one of the few of his works, whose authorship is confirmed by the chronicle. Because the chronicle had to mention the artistic and social project of such importance. The Assumption is a symbolic cathedral, built of white stone in the free, pre-Mongol times, adorned with "masters from all lands", here the princes Vladimir and Moscow independent from the Horde were crowned reigning, and here was the princely tomb.

Three centuries later, in the 15th century, the Grand Duke of Moscow, in deciding to decorate the dilapidated, partially burned and ruined by the Tatars, Ouspensky, understood that a recognized master, exceptional, should work on this task. Andrei Rublev worked here not alone, with him was now an inseparable friend Daniel Black and a whole artel of artists. But the general idea of the murals, new, joyful, festive intonations, the brilliant rhythms of architecture and painting, a unique composition - all this is the idea of Rublev himself.

The Assumption Cathedral of Vladimir was rebuilt and renewed thereafter several times: either the windows were expanded, the windows were restored, the towers were then rebuilt, the buttresses were installed, the onion domes were installed, and the helmet-shaped ones returned. New artists and new kings tried to bring beauty and "restore the former greatness of the temple" to their modern look and taste. When the restorers of the Soviet Commission for the Preservation and Disclosure of Old Russian Painting arrived at the cathedral, on the frescoes of Rublev oil paints, whitewashing and temperament lay illiterately in several layers, somewhere the paint layer was irretrievably lost, somewhere badly damaged. It was then, at the beginning of the 20th century, when the temple was deprived of its main purpose and turned into a museum, it became interesting for restorers to open old frescoes, rather than update them.

For the Soviet man in 1919, the heavenly Last Judgment is a speculative and long-term not terrible event. Life is scarier. But it was Andrei Rublev who was the first to feel that it was necessary to talk about the Last Judgment without fear and without the promise of hellish torment. Fresco "Last Judgment" (consider in detail) on the western part of the cathedral was a revelation for the Russian people in the XV century, who was used to seeing the Byzantine harsh faces Saving Yaroe Eye, to tremble and repent, to wait for the wrath of the holy judges for sins and not to doubt the upcoming torment. Ruble first said that the saints, the archangels, the Mother of God and John the Baptist stand at the throne with a prayer for the people, that the judgment of God will be merciful and promise eternal bliss. The man who looked at the vault of the Assumption Cathedral, was supposed to feel in the safe environment of the holy apostles and under the protection of the angels soaring on the vault. There is nothing terrible neither in apocalyptic animals, nor in the dead, which the Land and Sea give to the Last Judgment. Only the promise of mercy and forgiveness, bliss and communion of the great heavenly secret.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova