Rublev Trinity

“Old Testament Trinity” or “The Hospitality of Abraham”, Andrey Rublev, between 1408-25 (image source: Wikipedia).

This Orthodox Trinity icon by Andrey Rublev is a more accepted and highly praised representation of the Triune God than the Andean Trinity. This icon represents an innovation in that the essential narrative elements from “Hospitality of Abraham” (Genesis 18:1-15) on which it is based have been removed, leaving only three winged manifestations of divinity.

Perhaps most unsettling to the Western eye however is that none of these figures have beards. Most folks in the Western Church are familiar and comfortable with two bearded guys and a bird. Although this arrangement has always seemed compositionally awkward to me — the human figures of God and Christ invariably have more visual weight than that of the dove representing the Holy Spirit. I guess an alternative would be to depict a bird the size of God and Son but that would be weird too.

2 responses to “Rublev Trinity

  1. Have you ever seen the Russian film, Andrei Rublev,by Andrei Tarkovski? I saw it at my uncle’s when I was young and thought it was weird. I watched it later and found it pretty interesting.

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