Central Museum of ancient Russian culture and art named after Andrey Rublev
Andronevskaya square 10, Moscow
Phones: +7 495 6781467, +7 495 6781489
Web site: https://rublev-museum.ru
See unique masterpieces of Russian iconography from Andrey Rublev to the masters of the 18th century.The Museum of ancient Russian culture and art is located on the territory of the Spaso-Andronikov monastery, founded in the middle of the 14th century. In the oldest architectural monument in Moscow, the Spassky Cathedral, frescoes of the great icon painter Andrey Rublev have been preserved. He was a monk in this monastery and was buried there in 1430.
Now the Museum has more than 5 thousand icons, among them - masterpieces of craftsmen from the environment of Andrey Rublev and Dionysius, the workshop of Metropolitan Makarii and Tsar Ivan the Terrible.
The Museum's exposition is presented in the complex of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, built at the end of the 17th century by order of Peter The Great first wife Evdokia Lopukhina. On the first floor there are masterpieces of ancient Russian iconography of the 13th-16th centuries and examples of decorative and applied art. The pearl of the collection is the image of the Lord Almighty the first half of the 13th century, and large-format image of the "Savior" of the second half of the 14th century. The works of craftsman Dionysius' workshop and works of the time of Ivan the Terrible are presented here.
The second floor shows the art of icon painting from the 17th century and its subsequent development. In particular, here you can get acquainted in detail with the work of the Moscow's Armory masters.
The third floor is occupied by a hall of wooden sculpture, a special type of Russian Church art that is little known to the General public. On the fourth floor, fragments and almost entire complexes of frescoes from the 12th and 18th centuries are shown. Most of them come from churches destroyed in the Soviet years.
Spaso-Andronikov monastery was founded in the middle of the 14th century by Metropolitan Alexey of Moscow. In the 15th century, the first stone building was built in the monastery – the Spassky Cathedral, which was painted by the great iconographer Andrey Rublev. From the time of Dmitry Donskoy until the beginning of the 20th century, outstanding people were buried on the territory of the monastery.
After the 1917 revolution, icons, sewn veils, liturgical vessels, vestments, books, and crosses accumulated in the Spaso-Andronikov monastery over six centuries were looted or destroyed.
To save the architectural ensemble of the monastery from destruction, the outstanding architect-restorer Pyotr Baranovsky initiated the creation on its territory of the museum of Andrei Rublev, buried within the monastery walls. This allowed declaring the monastery's territory "the historical and architectural reserve named after the Russian artist Andrey Rublev". The Foundation of the Museum was dedicated to the celebration of the 800th anniversary of Moscow in 1947.
In the early 1950s, the first scientific expeditions of the Museum were organized, and the formation of collections began. Employees of the Museum saved priceless works of ancient Russian art from destruction, taking them out of abandoned temples and local museums, where there were no conditions for storing these relics. The first arrivals were several icons of the XV-XVII centuries from the Vladimir Museum of local lore and the iconostasis complex from the Cathedral of the Spaso-Evfimiev monastery in Suzdal, created in the 1660s. At the same time, the monastery's architectural ensemble was being restored, primarily the white-stone Spassky Cathedral of the early 15th century.
The Museum was opened to the public on September 21, 1960. This year was declared by UNESCO as the year of celebration of the 600th anniversary of Andrey Rublev. At that time, the Museum collection consisted of only 317 monuments. Today, the Museum stores about 13 thousand items, including icons, works of decorative and applied art, originals and copies of frescoes, handwritten and old printed books, and archaeological monuments.
According to legend, Metropolitan Alexey of Moscow, returning from Constantinople, carried with him a Byzantine icon of "Christ not made by hands". The Metropolitan's ship was caught in a violent storm. Addressing prayers to the icon of "Christ not made by hands", the Metropolitan promised to build a monastery in honor of this image in case of successful completion of the journey. The promise was fulfilled.
The first Abbot of the new monastery was a disciple of Sergius of Radonezh, a monk of the Trinity-Sergius monastery Andronik, after whom the monastery was later named Spaso-Andronikov.
In 1380, the Spaso-Andronikov monastery met the army of Dmitry Donskoy, who was returning with a victory after the battle of Kulikovo field. According to legend, Russian soldiers who fell in battle were buried here.