Description of the fresco by Andrei Rublev “The Last Judgment”

Description of the fresco by Andrei Rublev “The Last Judgment”

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Rublev is one of the most famous icon painters, whose manner of writing for many years determined the entire development of Russian icon painting. After him, gracious, clearly defined faces of a dark, almost brown color, certain poses, certain symbolism became familiar. And, despite this contribution, the fact that after 600 years his icons are remembered and protected, very little is known about Rublev’s personality - only what can be said by looking at his works.

However, it is reliably known that in 1408 he went to Vladimir to paint the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin there. The theme was given to him, to one extent or another, exciting all artists who are not alien to religious subjects - the Last Judgment.

In the European tradition, his image usually recalls the bonfires of the Inquisition. Sinners on one side, righteous on the other, a severe punishing god, ready to cast them into hellish torments, a scorching fire and a general feeling of oppressive fear, frightening forebodings of the future. Their purpose is through fear to make a person obey.

Rublev chose a different path - on his fresco there is no division into goats and lambs, everyone is standing in the radiance of the Lord who appeared, and this is not a terrible event that should cause horror and a desire to urgently repent, but the pure delight of meeting with someone who is love.

The mercy so often forgotten. The joy of being with God, happiness from the very existence of God, submission from love, and not from fear of punishment - this is what Rublev expressed in his frescoes. Not the pipes of armageddon, which make one tremble and want to hide as far as possible, but the fanfare, announcing that the One is coming who has the right to judge and who always judges mercifully.

Do not cry, but rejoice, for this is not the end of earthly life, but the beginning of eternal life.

Despite the nebula of the biography, one thing is certain - Rublev knew what mercy was.

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