Dionisy’s sons Theodosius and Vladimir
At the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries the Moscow school of painting was represented by the art of Dionisy and his sons. Unlike his numerous predecessors Dionisy was a lay icon painter. He trained his sons in icon painting and later worked with them all over Russia.
The stone Church of the Virgin Dormition of the St. Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery laid in 1484 and consecrated in 1485, was subsequently, during the same year, painted by Dionisy and his sons Theodosius and Vladimir. Most likely, in 1500, Dionisy’s sons took part in painting the iconostasis of the St. Paul Obnorsk Monastery and in 1502 the three together painted the Virgin Nativity Cathedral of the St. Ferapont Belozero Monastery.
Upon Dionisy’s death, his younger son Theodosius continued his father’s trade. In 1508, he was invited by Grand Prince Vassily III to do the wall painting of the Annunciation Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.
The cathedral walls contained images of Sts. George and Demetrios of Soluncia as well as Byzantine emperors and empresses that symbolized the continuity of the authority of Moscow grand princes, along with images of venerated Russian grand princes from Dmitry Donskoy to Vassily Dmitrievich.
Theodosius was also renowned for manuscript illumination. Commissioned by a boyar and treasurer Ivan Tretyak, he painted borders and miniatures for the Gospel in 1507. Theodosius painted the evangelists and decorations. He is credited with the emergence of the old print ornament. Nothing is known about the creative life of Dionisy’s elder son. He is conjectured to have taken monastic vows under the name of Vassian.