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Dionisy

Ferapontov Monastery

Museum of Frescoes




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Dionisy


Christ the Redeemer. Zvenigorod Tier. Andrei Rublev

Christ the Redeemer. Zvenigorod Tier. Andrei Rublev

Theotokos. Dionisy and his studio. 1490s or 1502-1503

Theotokos. Dionisy and his studio. 1490s or 1502-1503

An icon from the iconostasis of the Virgin Nativity Cathedral of the St. Ferapont Monastery. Generally, its iconographic style stems from the Moscow tradition. However, it is distinguished by a rare outline of her clothes: a ledged, not sharp form of the right flap of the cloak

Mother of God Hodegetria of Smolensk with the Saints. Dionisy. The last quarter of the 15th century

Mother of God Hodegetria of Smolensk with the Saints. Dionisy. The last quarter of the 15th century

The icon originates from the sacristy of the Trinity St. Sergius Monastery

John the Baptist. Dionisy and his studio. 1490s or 1502-1503

John the Baptist. Dionisy and his studio. 1490s or 1502-1503

An icon from the iconostasis of the Virgin Nativity Cathedral of the St. Ferapont Monastery. The manner of face painting, though more dense, is, on the whole, similar to that of the Theotokos

Dionisy / The St. Paphnutius Borovsk (Pafnutiev-Borovsky) Monastery. The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin. Between 1467 and 1476


A view of the St. Paphnutius Borovsk Monastery

A view of the St. Paphnutius Borovsk Monastery

The monastery was founded on a beautiful high bank where the Istrema River flows into the Protva River in 1444 by St. Paphnutius of Borovsk

Head of an unknown saint. Dionisy

Head of an unknown saint. Dionisy

Most likely, this fragment pertained to the representation of an emperor in one of the scenes of The Ecumenical councils cycle

Medallion on a shroud at the bottom of the decoration. Dionisy

Medallion on a shroud at the bottom of the decoration. Dionisy

The surviving fragment includes stylized flower and leaf motifs

Plan showing the  location of fragments of masonry of the Cathedral of the Virgin Nativity of the St. Paphnutius Borovsk Monastery

Plan showing the location of fragments of masonry of the Cathedral of the Virgin Nativity of the St. Paphnutius Borovsk Monastery

Reconstruction: S.S. Podyapolsky, V.N. Merkelova and N.V. Churkanova

Dionisy / The Moscow Kremlin. The Cathedral of the Dormition. 1480-1481


The Cathedral of the Dormition, the Moscow Kremlin

The Cathedral of the Dormition, the Moscow Kremlin

The foundation of the first stone building of the cathedral was laid in 1326 by the first Moscow Metropolitan Peter and Moscow Prince Ivan Kalita

St. Metropolitan Peter with scenes from his life. Dionisy and his studio

St. Metropolitan Peter with scenes from his life. Dionisy and his studio

The attributed date of the icon pair St. Metropolitan Peter and St. Metropolitan Alexius is still being disputed and ranges between 1462 and 1519

St. Metropolitan Alexius with scenes from his life. Dionisy and his studio

St. Metropolitan Alexius with scenes from his life. Dionisy and his studio

The icons of St. Metropolitan Peter and St. Metropolitan Alexius are the oldest icons with scenes of the lives of the Moscow saints

St. Alexius, Man of God. Dionisy

St. Alexius, Man of God. Dionisy

A fragment of the altar wall of the Dormition Cathedral

Dionisy / The Saviour Kamenny (Spaso-Kamenny) Monastery. The Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral. 1481


The North-western Pillar of the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of the Kamenny Monastery

The North-western Pillar of the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of the Kamenny Monastery

Sizeable fragments of the collapsed walls were preserved thanks to the large size of the bricks as well as the strength of the mortar

The Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of the Saviour Kamenny Monastery

The Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of the Saviour Kamenny Monastery

The southern façade. Reconstruction

The Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of the Kamenny Monastery

The Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of the Kamenny Monastery

The interior. The north-east view. A photo from the 1920s

Ruins of the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of the Kamenny Monastery

Ruins of the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of the Kamenny Monastery

The south-east view

Dionisy / The Moscow Kremlin. The Ascension Monastery. The Ascension Cathedral. 1482


The Moscow Kremlin

The Moscow Kremlin

The Kremlingrad, the fortress of Moscow. The layout of the Moscow Kremlin. Early 1600s

The Holy Virgin Hodegetria. Dionisy

The Holy Virgin Hodegetria. Dionisy

According to chronicles, the Hodegetria of the Ascension Monastery is an exact copy of the miracle-working image of the Constantinople monastery

The Ascension Monastery. A photo from N.A. Naidenov’s  album Moscow. Cathedrals, Monasteries and Churches, 1882

The Ascension Monastery. A photo from N.A. Naidenov’s album Moscow. Cathedrals, Monasteries and Churches, 1882

A view of the Ascension Monastery

The Gatehouse of the Ascension Monastery

The Gatehouse of the Ascension Monastery

A photo between 1900 and 1930

Dionisy / The St. Joseph Volokolamsk (Iosifo-Volokolamsky) Monastery. The Cathedral of the Dormition. After 1485


Joseph Volotsky

Joseph Volotsky

View of the St. Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery

View of the St. Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery

A beautiful panoramic view of the monastery with strong fortified walls, tented towers and shining cupolas

The Holy Virgin Hodegetria. Dionisy

The Holy Virgin Hodegetria. Dionisy

The compositional and technical features do not contradict the attributed date of 1485 (which is determined by the date of the construction of the stone Assumption Cathedral in the St. Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery), and, therefore, can be ascribed to Dionisy

Dionisy / The Chigasov Monastery. The Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral. The late 1480s


The Church of the All-Merciful Saviour at Chigasy. A photo from N. Naidenov’s album Moscow. Cathedrals, Monasteries and Churches, 1882

The Church of the All-Merciful Saviour at Chigasy. A photo from N. Naidenov’s album Moscow. Cathedrals, Monasteries and Churches, 1882

The Church of the All-Merciful Saviour at Chigasy in Taganka (the Saviour Chigasov Monastery, founded in the 15th century, was still there in 1555; the stone church was laid in 1483)

Dionisy / The St. Paul Obnorsk (Pavlo-Obnorsky) Monastery. The Trinity Cathedral. 1500


The Crucifixion. Dionisy

The Crucifixion. Dionisy

Along with the frescoes of the Virgin Nativity Cathedral of the St. Ferapont Monastery this icon can be regarded as one of few that effect the contemporary perception of Dionisy’s style and manner

The Saviour with Forces. Dionisy

The Saviour with Forces. Dionisy

A representation of Christ surrounded by divine forces and four apocalyptic creatures (a man, a calf, a lion and an eagle) that illustrates eschatological Old Testament visions and texts of the Apocalypse

The Dormition of the Theotokos. Dionisy

The Dormition of the Theotokos. Dionisy

The devastating fires of 1538 and 1767 had an adverse effect on the state of the icon

St. Thomas’s Protestation. Dionisy and his studio

St. Thomas’s Protestation. Dionisy and his studio

The theme of the icon is based on the Gospel according to St. John, narrating the episode when the risen Christ appeared in front of his disciples, but Thomas refused to believe in his resurrection until he actually touched the wounds

Dionisy / The St. Ferapont Belozero (Ferapontov Belozersky) Monastery. The Cathedral of the Virgin Nativity. 1502


The Resurrection – Descent to the Underworld. Dionisy and his studio

The Resurrection – Descent to the Underworld. Dionisy and his studio

The icon is dedicated to one of the central events of the evangelic story and the main Orthodox feast, Christ’s Resurrection. It is the most detailed version of Resurrection icons

John the Baptist. Dionisy and his studio

John the Baptist. Dionisy and his studio

The oldest prototype of such icons is the icon of the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir dated 1408

Saint Paul, the Apostle. Dionisy and studio

Saint Paul, the Apostle. Dionisy and studio

The position of the Gospel in the apostle’s hands is rare: it protrudes forward, tilted and supported by his right hand

The Holy Virgin Hodegetria. Dionisy and his studio

The Holy Virgin Hodegetria. Dionisy and his studio

N.V. Pertsev’s comparative analysis affirms that the compositional solution, preparatory drawing and face belong to Dionisy while the secondary elements were painted by his assistants (studio)

Dionisy / The St. Cyril Belozero (Kirillo-Belozersky) Monastery. The Dormition Cathedral. 1497


A view of the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery

A view of the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery

In the 15th-16th centuries the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery was the most prominent religious, cultural and economic centre of the Russian North

St. Cyril of Belozero with scenes from his life. Dionisy and his studio. Early 16th century

St. Cyril of Belozero with scenes from his life. Dionisy and his studio. Early 16th century

The icon originated from the iconostasis of the Dormition Cathedral of the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery. Since the monastery’s closure it has been in the Central Restoration Centre in Moscow

A view of the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery. N. Martynov. An album drawing. 1860. The Russian State Museum

A view of the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery. N. Martynov. An album drawing. 1860. The Russian State Museum

The Dormition Cathedral, the Churches of St. Vladimir and St. Epiphanius

Cyril of Belozero. Dionisy

Cyril of Belozero. Dionisy

There is a conjecture that the icon was originally intended for the Dormition Cathedral of the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery. However, it originates from the Kazan Cathedral of the town of Kirillov

Dionisy / The Saviour Priluki (Spaso-Prilutsky) Monastery. The Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral. 1503


A view of the Saviour Priluki Monastery

A view of the Saviour Priluki Monastery

The monastery acquired its name from the principal church of the monastery, the Church of the All-Merciful Saviour, and the river curve on which the cloister stands

St. Demetrios of Priluki with scenes from his life. Dionisy and his studio

St. Demetrios of Priluki with scenes from his life. Dionisy and his studio

Dionisy managed to create an ideal of a Russian ascetic, strict hegumen, philosopher, teacher and wise interlocutor in the representation of St. Demetrios

Ferapontov Monastery / The Virgin Nativity Cathedral. 1490


The Iconostasis of the Virgin Nativity Cathedral. A photo of the early 20th century

The Iconostasis of the Virgin Nativity Cathedral. A photo of the early 20th century

The iconostasis consisted of four tiers: the Sovereign, Feasts, Deesis and Prophets, encased in a carved wooden frame in the middle of the 18th century

Ferapontov Monastery / The Church of the Annunciation with the Refectory. 1530 – 1531


The Church of the Annunciation with the Refectory and Ruins of the Dining Chamber

The Church of the Annunciation with the Refectory and Ruins of the Dining Chamber

A water colour from the album of N.Martynov. 1840s-1860s

Ferapontov Monastery / The Church of St. Martinian. The porch was built in the middle of the 19th century. 1641


Fresco above the Relics of St. Martinian. Dionisy. 1502

Fresco above the Relics of St. Martinian. Dionisy. 1502

Ferapontov Monastery / The Gate Churches of the Epiphany and St. Ferapont. 1650


The Interior of the Churches

The Interior of the Churches

Ferapontov Monastery / The Wall. 19th-20th centuries


The Wall

The Wall

Library / Genealogy of Icon Painter Dionisy


The Genealogy of Icon Painter Dionisy

The Genealogy of Icon Painter Dionisy

A record of Dionisy’s family in the bead-roll of the St. Ferapont Belozero Monastery of the 17th century

Museum of Frescoes / Western Façade


Deesis

Deesis

Deesis (from Greek – “supplication”), a composition, consisting of the Theotokos and John the Baptist at the head of saints praying in front of Christ Pantocrator. On the western façade of the Nativity Cathedral the central figure of enthroned Christ in a medallion is flanked on the sides by seven figures: the Theotokos, John the Baptist, archangels Michael and Gabriel, apostles Peter and Paul and apostle John the Evangelist (?)

The Theotokos

John the Baptist
the last of the prophets, the precursor, who announced the coming of Jesus Christ. He is the son of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, who was a cousin of the Mother of God. Called by “the word of God” (Luke 3:2) John the Baptist preached “in the wilderness of Judea” (Matthew 3:1) and “all the region around the Jourdan” (Luke 3:3). His preaching of repentance and the imminent coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 3:2) attracted a great deal of disciples and followers. As an outward sign of repentance and spiritual renewal John the Baptist chose a ceremony of “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3), ablution in water that Jesus Christ among many others submitted to in waters. of the Jordan. At this the covenant came true: “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” (John 1:33). John the Baptist was executed by Herod Antipas for condemning his illegal marriage to Herodias. Feast days: 7 (20) January (Synaxis), 24 February (9 March), 24 June (7 July), 29 August (11 September He is also depicted in the composition The Last Judgement and in the semidome of the altar.

Archangel Michael
One of the seven archangels, the leader of the celestial army in a battle with Satan (Jude 12:7), the protector of Israel (Daniel 10:13 etc.) Feast days: 6 (19) September; 8 (21) November.

Archangel Gabriel
One of the seven archangels (Tobit 12:15) who understood the vision of prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16) and revealed to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-20), to Virgin Mary, the birth of Jesus Christ the Saviour (Luke 1:26-38). In divine service he is characterized as “pre-eternal wisdom enlightening the whole universe”. Feast day: 26 March (8 April).

Saint Peter the Apostle
(the second figure on the left),
the leading apostle, whose original name before the calling was Simon, son of Jona and brother of apostle Andrew (John 1:40-42), fisherman from Bethsaida. He was one of the 12 disciples whom Jesus chose for preaching the word of God; he was crucified in Rome by order of the emperor Nero. The author of the two epistles included into the New Testament. Feast day: 29 June (12 July). He is also represented in the evangelic compositions and akathist scenes as well as in the Last Judgement.

St. Paul the Apostle
the original name before calling - Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, former persecutor of Christians. He was converted into the true faith and was called for apostlolic service and preaching to pagans by God who addressed to him from heaven (Acts 26:12-18). He is the author of fourteen epistles to various Christian communities and persons. Feast day together with St. Peter: 29 June (12 July). He is also represented in the evangelic compositions and akathist scenes as well as in the Last Judgement.
John the Evangelist, one of the 12 apostles, son of fisherman Zebedee, from Bethsaida, disciple of John the Baptist. He was present in all important events of Christ’s life: stood by Christ’s cross; the crucified teacher committed his mother Mary to his care (John 19:26). Together with St. Peter he preached Christ in Jerusalem, but was persecuted by the Sanhedrim and was lashed. Tradition relates that he was sent from Jerusalem to Rome where he endured Nero’s persecution of Christians, was seized and exiled to a deserted island Patmos where he received apocalyptic visions of the future of the Church and the world that constituted the last book of the New Testament: the Book of Revelation. He spent his last years at Ephesus where he wrote three epistles and the fourth Gospel. Feast days: 8 (21) May and 26 September (9 October). He is also depicted on the north-eastern pendentive, in the evangelic compositions and akathist scenes as well as in the Last Judgement.

Nativity of the Mother of God

Nativity of the Mother of God

Anna who has recently given birth to Mary is depicted reclining on a couch in the house of Joiakim; maidens offer her gifts and congratulate her on the birth of her daughter.

Bathing of Mary

Bathing of Mary

There is a font for ablution of a baby with maidens and wives standing around; one of them is holding the newly-born Mary in her hands.

Mary’s Dream

Mary’s Dream

An effigy of Mary lying in a cradle and two maidens.

Caressing of Mary

Caressing of Mary

Anna with the newly-born daughter and Joiakim sit on the steps of a house caressing and worshipping Mary.

Archangel Michael

Archangel Michael

One of the seven archangels, the leader of the celestial army in a battle with Satan (Jude 12:7), the protector of Israel (Daniel 10:13 etc.) Feast days: 6 (19) September; 8 (21) November. He is represented in the dress of a warrior as a guardian of the cathedral gate punishing sinners entering it. He is also painted in the Deesis composition above the western portal, in the drum, in the altar, in the Last Judgement scene and above the northern door.

Archangel Gabriel

Archangel Gabriel

One of the seven archangels (Tobit 12:15) who understood the vision of prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16) and revealed to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-20), to Virgin Mary – the birth of Jesus Christ the Saviour (Luke 1:26-38). In divine service he is characterized as “pre-existent wisdom enlightening the whole universe”. Feast: 26 March (8 April). He is represented with a scroll writing down names and good deeds of people who enter the cathedral. He is also painted in the Deesis composition above the western portal, in the drum, in the altar, in the akathist compositions, in the Last Judgement scene and above the southern door.

Mother of God with the Child. Representation with John of Damascus and Cosmas of Jerusalem, Bishop of Maiuma

Mother of God with the Child. Representation with John of Damascus and Cosmas of Jerusalem, Bishop of Maiuma

The Mother of God with the child. A medallion with a half-length figure of the Mother of God with the child Jesus. The child is blessing with his right hand while holding in his left hand a scroll that reminds of the teaching that enlightens and saves the human race. Similar images are placed on the side of the north-western corner vault, in the composition “Seeing a strange childbirth...” (Akathist, Kontakion 8)

St. John of Damascus (c. 675 – c.749), one of the renowned Fathers of the Church, an outstanding Christian theologian and writer of hymns. He served at the court of the caliph in Damascus and around 736 he took the tonsure in the St. Sabas Monastery near Jerusalem. He spent most of his life defending the Orthodoxy and veneration of the holy images during the iconoclastic period under Leo III (717-741). the author of three Apologetic Treatises against those decrying the holy images. He integrated Christian knowledge in his dogmatic work The Fountain of Wisdom that consisted of three parts: The Dialectics, The Book on Heresies and An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, written at the end of his life. The church tradition attributes John of Damascus with a great many hymns: canons of major feasts (the Easter, the Nativity, the Epiphany, the Ascension etc.) and a number of troparia, and stichera as well as compilation of the public worship Oktoikh Feast day: 4 (21) December. He is also depicted in the compositions “Because of you, O Full of grace, all creation rejoices” and “What shall we offer you, O Christ?”.

St. Cosmas of Jerusalem, Bishop of Maiuma († c. 787), Byzantine hymn writer, fellow monk of St. John of Damascus. He originated from Jerusalem, was brought up with John of Damascus and subsequently moved with him from Damascus to Jerusalem and settled down in the St. Sabas Monastery. In 743 he was appointed Bishop of Maiuma in Phoenicia. In the iconoclastic period he spoke in support of the Orthodoxy. The outstanding hymnographer composed canons on all days of the Holy week starting from Lazarus Saturday and for most of important feasts as well as canons to God Fathers on 26 December (8 January), great martyr George on 23 April (6 May) etc. Feast day: 12 (25) October. He is also represented in the composition “What shall we offer you, O Christ?”

Museum of Frescoes / Cupola, drum and pendentives


Christ Pantocrator

Christ Pantocrator

A half-length image of Christ blessing with his right hand while holding the closed New Testament in his left is the most widespread variant in the iconography of the Saviour. Traditionally, it is placed in the cupola of a cathedral symbolizing heaven.

Archangel Michael

Archangel Michael

One of the seven archangels, the leader of the celestial army in a battle with Satan (Jude 12:7), the protector of Israel (Daniel 10:13 etc.) Feast days: 6 (19) September; 8 (21) November. He is represented in the dress of a warrior as a guardian of the cathedral gate punishing sinners entering it. He is also painted in the Deesis composition above the western portal, in the drum, in the altar, in the Last Judgement scene and above the north door.

Archangel Gabriel

Archangel Gabriel

One of the seven archangels (Tobit 12:15) who understood the meaning of the vision of prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16) and revealed to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-20), to Virgin Mary – the birth of Jesus Christ the Saviour (Luke 1:26-38). In divine service he is characterized as “pre-existent wisdom enlightening the whole universe”. Feast: 26 March (8 April). He is represented with a scroll writing down names and good deeds of people who enter the cathedral. He is also painted in the Deesis composition above the western portal, in the drum, in the altar, in the akathist compositions, in the Last Judgement scene and above the south door.

Unknown Archangel

Unknown Archangel

Unknown Archangel

Unknown Archangel

Unknown Archangel

Unknown Archangel

Archangel Uriel

Archangel Uriel

The leader of ethereal forces. Uriel was sent by God to Judaic scholar and priest Ezra to instruct and explain to him mysterious ways of the Lord. (Ezra III 4:1).

Forefather Seth

Forefather Seth

Adam’s third son (Genesis 4:25; 5:3), father of Enosh. After the slaying of Abel by Cain and the removal of the latter from the presence of the LORD to “the land of Nod, on the east of Eden” God showed Adam a pledge of grace: Seth started a new pious clan in contrast to Cain’s descendants. God blessed Seth and his descendants with uncommonly long lives: they lived over nine hundred years. Tradition ascribes the invention of a written language and various sciences to Seth.

Forefather Adam

Forefather Adam

According to the Bible, the first man and the father of all humanity he got his name Adam (Hebrew “ground”) because he was “formed of the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7), God gave Adam “the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. God planted a garden in Eden and made the first woman Eve from his rib for Adam. Created in God’s likeness and image, Adam, the crown of creation, was given dominion over the earth and all living creatures (Genesis 1:28-30). After the Fall Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden, deprived of immortality and condemned to “till the ground” to earn their living. Adam lived 930 years and left numerous posterity. With the fall of the first man, sin and death entered the world and man’s sinful nature propagated to all Adam’s descendants. Deliverance of the original sin, salvation and live for all believers came from the ‘second’ Adam, Jesus Christ. Such view of two Adams can already be found in the epistles of St. Paul (Romans 5:14, I Corinthians 15:22, 45). It is also depicted in the akathist compositions “Wishing to bestow His grace…” (Kontakion 12) and in the Last Judgement scene (the Deesis).

Foremother Eve

Foremother Eve

Foremother of humanity, wife of Adam, created from his rib. Succumbing to the serpent’s temptations Eve ate the forbidden fruit. She is referred to in the New Testament (II Corinthians 11:3, I Timothy 2:14), theological essays and liturgical texts as guilty of the humanity’s fall.
She is also depicted in the scene of the Last Judgement (the Deesis).

Forefather Abel

Forefather Abel

The second son of Adam and Eve. According to the Bible, Abel was a shepherd and his elder brother was a farmer. When both brothers made an offering to God, Abel’s pleased him more and Cain was jealous of his brother and killed him (Genesis 4:2-8). John Chrysostom saw in Abel a prototype of Christ; Abel was a shepherd, he sacrificed a lamb and suffered a violent death at the hand of his brother.

Forefather Enos

Forefather Enos

Son of Seth and grandson of Adam, the third patriarch, died at the age of 905. The Biblical text “there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26) can be interpreted as evidence of an open public worship.

Forefather Methuselar

Forefather Methuselar

Son of Enos and father of Lamech (Genesis 5:21-27), the eighth patriarch renowned for his longevity. He lived 969 years and died just before the Great Flood which was postponed because of the week’s mourning for him. He went to the bounds of the earth to learn from his father Enos about the coming deluge and saving of his grandson Noah.

Forefather Melchizedek

Forefather Melchizedek

The king of Salem, the priest of the most high God who blessed Abram and in his person all Old Testament priests (Genesis 14:18-24). According to St. Paul’s interpretation (Hebrews 7:17), Melchizedek is a prototype of Christ, “a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec”.
He is depicted on the north side of the eastern vault.

Forefather Enos

Forefather Enos

Son of Jared and father of a Methuselah, the seventh patriarch. According to the Bible, Enos “walked with God”, i.e. strived for highest purity and holiness. As an award for his piety and faith God “translated him” so that “he should not see death” caused by the sins of his ancestors. (Hebrews 11:5). According to the apocryphical text “The Book of Enos”, he was taken up to heaven to judge the fallen angels. Enos together with prophet Elijah are to come first to herald the second advent of Christ.

Forefather Jared

Forefather Jared

Son of Mahalalel and father of Enoch, the sixth patriarch, who died at the age of 962 (Genesis 5:18-20).

Forefather Noah

Forefather Noah

The tenth and the last patriarch prior to the Flood. Having preserved righteousness in total corruption, he was chosen to perpetuate the human race after the deluge through his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth God established a covenant with Noah: « Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. “ (Genesis 9:6) God, in his turn, promised Noah that “ the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh” (Genesis 9:15).

St. John the Evangelist

St. John the Evangelist

One of the 12 apostles, son of fisherman Zebedee, from Bethsaida, disciple of John the Baptist. He was present in all important events of Christ’s life: stood by Christ’s cross and the crucified teacher committed his mother Mary to his care (John 19:26). Together with St. Peter he preached Christ in Jerusalem, but was persecuted by the Sanhedrim and was lashed. As tradition relates he was sent from Jerusalem to Rome where he endured Nero’s persecution of Christians, was seized and exiled to a deserted island Patmos where he received apocalyptic visions of the future of the Church and the world that constituted the last book of the New Testament: the Book of Revelation. He spent his last years at Ephesus where he wrote three epistles and the fourth Gospel. Feast days: 8 (21) May and 26 September (9 October).
He is also depicted on the north-east arch flange, in the evangelic compositions and akathist scenes as well as in the Last Judgement.

St. Matthew

St. Matthew

One of the 12 apostles, author of the first of the four canonical Gospels. He was a publican (tax collector) when Jesus called him to be his disciple (Matthew 9:9). After the ascension of Jesus Christ he preached to Jews in Jerusalem for 15 years, and then he went to preach in Persia (according to other sources, to Ethiopia) where he was martyred. Feast day: 16 (29) November.
It is also depicted in the evangelic compositions and the Last Judgement scenes.

St. Mark the Evangelist

St. Mark the Evangelist

One of the 70 apostles, born in Jerusalem, close associate of apostles Peter, Paul and Baranbas, his cousin. Mark visited Rome, afterwards moved to Alexandria where he founded a church and became its first bishop. He died a martyr’s death. Feast day: 25 April (8 May).
He is also depicted in the Last Judgement scene.

St. Luke the Evangelist

St. Luke the Evangelist

One of the 70 apostles, disciple and associate of St. Paul. He came from an educated Greek family. He lived in Antioch in Syria and was martyred in the town of Thebes. Apart from one of the four Gospels composed, as tradition relates, in Rome in 62-63 under St. Paul’s guidance, the book The Acts of the Apostles is also ascribed to St. Luke. He is also believed to create the first icons of the Theotokos, apostles Peter and Paul. Feast days: 18 (31) October, 22 April (5 May).
He is depicted in the Last Judgement scene.

Saviour not Made by Hand (Spas Nerukotvorny)

Saviour not Made by Hand (Spas Nerukotvorny)

A special type of Christ’s iconography: his face is represented on a cloth. Tradition relates that its miraculous appearance is connected with King of Edessa Avgar who was a leper and wanted to have an image of Christ to cure his disease. The image of the Saviour not made by hand, brought to Avgar, was placed in a niche above the town gates of Edessa and subsequently immured with clay tiles and bricks. The image was recovered in 545 and in 944 it was transferred to Constantinople the feast of which is celebrated on 16 (29) August as a special feast of the Transfer of the Saviour not Made by Hand.

Christ Pantocrator

Christ Pantocrator

A half-length image of Christ blessing with his right hand and holding the closed New Testament in his left hand is the most widespread variant in the iconography of the Saviour. Traditionally it is placed in the cupola of a cathedral symbolizing heaven.

Saviour not Made by Hand (Saviour on a Tile)

Saviour not Made by Hand (Saviour on a Tile)

A special type of Christ’s iconography, an image of his face on a tile. It goes back to its miraculous apparition on the tile that immured the Spas Nerukotvorny on a cloth placed in the niche of the town gates in Edessa. This image was recovered in 545 together with the Saviour not Made by Hand on a cloth.

Christ Emmanuel (Immanuel)

Christ Emmanuel (Immanuel)

The name of the Saviour in the prophecy of Isaiah about his birth from the Virgin (Isaiah 7:14); the appellation of an iconographic type of Christ’s image.
It is an effigy of young Christ blessing with both hands.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Central Crosswise Nave. East View


Mother of God Representation with Archangels

Mother of God Representation with Archangels

A half-length image of the Mother of God with her hands outstretched to heaven and Jesus as a child in front of her chest, blessing with both hands, in a medallion. Four archangels stand on the sides of the Theotokos and Jesus.

Protection (Intercession) of Mother of God

Protection (Intercession) of Mother of God

A representation of the miraculous apparition of the Theotokos at the Blachernae Palace Church in Constantinople in the mid 10th century. According to the hagiography of St. Andrew who saw and showed her to his disciple Epiphanius (on the right), during the all-night vigil the Mother of God took of her veil and spread it over all people praying in church as a protection from visible and invisible enemies. In the foreground to the left there is the celebrated Byzantine hymnographer St. Roman the Melodist with a scroll that contains words of the relevant kontakion “Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church and with choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and bishops worship, apostles and prophets rejoice together, since for our sake she prays to the pre-eternal God”.
The feast of the Intercession is celebrated on 1 (14) October.

St. Thomas the Maleian (?) and St. Ephimius the Great (?)

St. Thomas the Maleian (?) and St. Ephimius the Great (?)

St. Thomas the Maleian (?)
(on the left)
(10th century) is a saint who prior to taking monastic vows was a well-known military commander though his heart searched God. Having taken the tonsure he went to a wilderness where he received a revelation from prophet Elijah and withdrew to Mount Maleia (east of Mount Athos). His life and deeds attracted people who looked for spiritual guidance and miraculous healing of their ailments. Feast day: 7 (20) July.

Euthimy the Great (?)
saint from Melitina, was brought up by the bishop of the Melitinian Church. He took monastic vows and was ordained senior priest governing all town monasteries. At the age of 30 he secretly went to Jerusalem and withdrew to the Faransk Monastery where he settled in a remote hut outside the monastery walls (Armenia). Shortly afterwards, a monastic community formed there and Euphimius the Great became the confessor. He baptized a great number of Arabs, performed miraculous healings. Hiding from fame he withdrew to a desert where he lived in King David’s cave and founded a monastery and later another lavra. For his ascetic life and the firm Orthodox faith he acquired the attribute Great. Feast day: 20 January (2 February).

Sts. Varlaam and Prince Joasaphus

Sts. Varlaam and Prince Joasaphus

Varlaam
hermit, whose sermon inspired Indian prince Joasaphus to secretly take baptismal tonsure and to baptize his subjects and afterwards to go to the wilderness to Varlaam. Their relics were found imperishable. Feast day: 19 November (2 December).

Joasaphus (prince Joasaphus)
son of Indian king Avenir, who wanted to raise his son in ignorance of worldly sorrows and death. However, the prince understood that in the world there is sorrow, illness and death. Influenced by a sermon of the Christian hermit Varlaam, Joasaphus was secretly baptized. When he ascended the throne, he baptized his subjects and withdrew to the wilderness to Varlaam. He is remembered together with Varlaam.

Sts. John the Tent-dweller and St. Alexius, Man of God

Sts. John the Tent-dweller and St. Alexius, Man of God

John Kuschnik
(5th century), saint, son of rich parents from Constantinople. He secretly withdrew to Vifinia and took monastic vows in the cloister of The Incessant Vigilance. Six years later, he returned to Constantinople; dressed as a beggar and unrecognized by anybody, he settled near his parents’ house in a tent (tabernacle). Three years later, just before his death he had a vision of God and disclosed his identity to his parents showing them the New Testament given to him by them. He asked to bury him on the spot of his tent. He died when he was not yet 25 years, in 450. Feast day: 15 (28) January.

St. Alexius, Man of God
(5th century), son of a Roman senator Eufminian. Having lived in the wilderness for 17 years, he returned to his parents’ house where he worked unrecognized with servants. The parents found out that he was their missing son only after his death when they read his diary. In 1216, a church in his name was built over his grave on the Aventinian hill. Feast day: 17(30) March.

Sts. Theodosios the Great and Antony the Great

Sts. Theodosios the Great and Antony the Great

Theodosios the Great
(c. 424-529), saint, founder of coenobitic monasticism, born in Cappadocia. In 451, he made for Jerusalem and on the way he received a blessing from St. Simeon the Stylite (the Pillar-dweller). He lived in a deserted cave for 30 years, in which, as tradition relates, the magi stayed on the way back from Bethlehem. He founded the first coenobitic monastery- lavra according the charter of Vassily the Great. His work was an example for those who wished to set up a coenobitic community, including Theodosios of Pechersk. The lavra functioned until the beginning of the 16th century when it was devastated and looted by the Turks, in 1869 it was restored. Feast day: 11 (24) January.

Antony the Great
(251-356), saint, founder of hermetic life and father of monasticism. He was born in Egypt near the Thebaid wilderness. At the age of 20 he inherited his parents’ fortune and started a life of a monk first near his house, afterwards withdrew to the wilderness where he lived in complete solitude and incessant fight with demons for 20 years. Having achieved spiritual balance he started to teach people around him. He had a miracle-working gift and denounced the Arian heresy. Feast day: 17(30) January.

Unknown Martyrs

Unknown Martyrs

Unknown martyr
(left)
He is depicted in a chiton and cloak with a tab.

Unknown martyr
He is depicted in a chiton and himation

Martyrs Sergios and Bakkhos

Martyrs Sergios and Bakkhos

Holy martyrs, high officials who were martyred under the emperor Maximilian (around 300 A.D). For their refusal to make pagan sacrifice Maximilian ordered them to be dressed in female clothes and led through the city with iron chains round their necks to be mocked by the people. Then he sent Sergios and Bakkhos to the ruler of the eastern Syria Antioch. Bakkhos was scourged to death and Sergios was shod with iron shoes inset with nails and sent him off from Sura to Resafa, 20 versts away, where he was beheaded. Feast day: 7 (20) October.

Saint Grand Prince Vladimir and Martyr Eustathius Placidus

Saint Grand Prince Vladimir and Martyr Eustathius Placidus

Vladimir
(† 1015), holy equal-to-the-apostles grand prince, baptizer of Rus, baptized as Vassily, son of Svyatoslav Igorevich and Malusha, the house-keeper of princess Olga. From 969 the Grand Prince of Novgorod, from 980 the Grand Prince of Kiev. He conquered vyatiches, radimiches, and yatviges and fought pechenegs, the Volga Bulgaria, Byzantium and Poland, contributed to the elevation and flourish of the Russian state. Under Vladimir defensive constructions and stone buildings were built, Kiev was newly fortified. In 988, he was baptized in Korsun (according to another version - in Kiev) and introduced Christianity as the official religion in Rus. Feast day: 15 (28) July.

Eustathius
great martyr, captain of the Guards of the emperor Adrian, was called Placidus before he was baptized with the name of Eustathius. In a revelation Christ foretold that Eustathius like Job would undergo severe troubles but God would not leave him. Shortly after he lost his house and fortune and fled Egypt, his wife was kidnapped by pirates and his son was carried off by wild animals. Fifteen years later the family reunited, but for the refusal to worship idols Eustathius, his wife and children were thrown alive on a red-hot copper ox. Feast day: 20 September (3 October).

Sts. Grand Princes Boris and Gleb

Sts. Grand Princes Boris and Gleb

Boris
(† 1015), saint prince- passion-bearer, son of Grand Prince Vladimir, in baptism Roman, Grand Prince of Rostov. Murdered in 1015 by followers of Svyatopolk the Accursed, the step-son of Vladimir. Together with his brother Gleb they were canonized as saints. Feast days of the saint brothers: 2(15) May and 24 July (6 August).

Gleb
(† 1015), saint prince-passion-bearer, son of Grand Prince Vladimir, David in baptism, Grand Prince of Murom. After the death of prince Boris, Svyatopolk the Accursed summoned Gleb to Kiev under pretence of visiting his ill father, however near Smolensk Gleb who had received the news on his father’s and brother’s death, was stabbed by Svyatopolk’s messengers. When Grand Prince Yaroslavl Vladimirovich conquered Kiev in 1019, Gleb’s body was found, brought to Vyshgorod and buried together with Boris’s in St. Basil’s Church. Feast days: 2 (15) May and 24 July (6 August).

Feast in the House of Simon the Leper

Feast in the House of Simon the Leper

The Gospel according to St. Mathew (26:6-16): “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.”

Conversation with the Samaritan woman; Healing of the Blind Man

Conversation with the Samaritan woman; Healing of the Blind Man

Conversation with the Samaritan woman
(left)
The Gospel according to John (4:4-42) “And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never athirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in at his mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: bother men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world”.

Healing of the Blind Man
(right)
The Gospel according to John (9:1-39): “AND as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and awash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.”

Marriage in Cana of Galilee

Marriage in Cana of Galilee

The Gospel according to John (2:1-11): “AND the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him”.

Raising of Jairus’ Daughter; Healing of the Bleeding Wife

Raising of Jairus’ Daughter; Healing of the Bleeding Wife

The Gospel according to Luke (8:40-56): “And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him. And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done”.

“The Archangel was sent from Heaven...” (Akathist. Eikos 1)

“The Archangel was sent from Heaven...” (Akathist. Eikos 1)

The scene of the Annunciation at the well described in the apocryphal proto-Gospel by Jacob is represented here. Archangel Gabriel descends to Mary delivering good news on the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

“The power of the Most High then overshadowed...” (Akathist, Kontakion 3)

“The power of the Most High then overshadowed...” (Akathist, Kontakion 3)

The Annunciation: archangel Gabriel is standing in front of the enthroned Mary who receives the good news. The composition reflects the concept that treats the Annunciation as the Incarnation of God: in the medallion on the Theotokos’s lap there is a transparent figurine of the incarnated Christ (seen close-up).

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Central Crosswise Nave. West View


Teaching of John Chrysostom

Teaching of John Chrysostom

John Chrysostomos (c. 347-407), Archbishop of Constantinople. He was born in Antioch and in his youth spent four years in the wilderness with monks and another two years in solitude. In 381 he was ordained deacon. When ordained presbyter he delivered daily sermons, in which he castigated luxury and vanity of Constantinople ladies that were taken by empress Eudoxia as personal insult. At her urgent request he was condemned at the Church Council and exiled. Just after he left, a terrible earthquake occured and the empress who saw a sign of heavenly wrath in it hurried to recall the priest. John Chrysostom resumed exposure of public vice and in 404 was banished again to Kukuz (Armenia) and from there to Pitiunt (Pitsunda) but died on the way to Komanakh on 4 (17) September John Chrysostom’s eight hundred and four homilies are considered classical examples of Christian oratorical art. The priest was also esteemed for interpreting Holy Writ and arranging and compiling the Divine liturgy. Feast day: 13 (26) November.
He is also depicted on the northern wall of the altar.

Martyr Eugene and Unknown Martyr

Martyr Eugene and Unknown Martyr

Eugene
(left)
holy martyr, who suffered together with four other martyrs Avksentius, Eustratius, Mardary and Orest during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian at the end of the 3rd century. For his bold and steadfast confession of faith, Eugene was tortured and then thrown into a red-hot oven. Feast day: 21 January (3 February).

Unknown martyr
is depicted in a tunic and cloak.

Martyr Andrew and Unknown Martyr

Martyr Andrew and Unknown Martyr

Andrew
(left)
holy martyr, suffered together with John and his sons Peter and Antonius when they were taken captives after the destruction of the Sicilian city of Syracuse during the time of the cruel African ruler Ibrahim in the 9th century. Saint elder Andrew was worn with hunger, twice run through with a spear and finally beheaded. Feast day: 23 September 6 October).
Or it could be the martyr who suffered together with Peter, Dionysios and Paul during the reign of the emperor Decius in the 3rd century. The martyrs were tortured for their refusal to worship idols and their confession of the Christian faith. Feast day: 18(31) May.

Unknown martyr
depicted in a chiton and himation.

Martyrs Florus and Laurus

Martyrs Florus and Laurus

Holy martyrs, stone-masons, brothers, lived in the 2nd century. Having constructed a pagan temple, they set up the cross on it and dedicated it to the true God. The governor of the region, who learnt about it, cruelly tortured them and sent them to Illyria where they were thrown into an empty well and covered over with ground. Afterwards, their relics were recovered and transferred to Constantinople. Feast day: 18(31) September.

Boyar Fyodor and Prince Mikhail of Chernigov

Boyar Fyodor and Prince Mikhail of Chernigov

Fyodor
(left)
holy martyr, boyar, was tormented to death together with prince Mikhail for their refusal to worship pagan idols in the Tatars’ Horde on 20 September 1246. The martyrs’ bodies were buried in Chernigov and later transferred to the Archangel Cathedral in Moscow. Feast days: 14(27) February, 20 September (3 October).

Mikhail
Mikhail Vsevolodovich, Grand Prince of Chernigov, holy martyr. By order of khan Baty he went to the Horde to get a permit to rule but was tortured by the Tatars on 20 September 1246 together with his boyar Fyodor for their refusal to worship idols. Feast days: 14(27) February, 20 September (3 October).

Sts. Ephrem the Syrian and John of the Ladder

Sts. Ephrem the Syrian and John of the Ladder

Ephrem the Syrian
(left)
(† 373), saint, one of the great teachers of the Church. He originated from Nisibis in Mesopotamia. He lived an ascetic life guided by monk Jacob of Nisibis first in the outskirts of his native town and later in a cave near Edessa where he preached and converted pagans into Christianity. Shortly before he died he was ordained deacon by priest Basil the Great but declined the cathedra-chair of a bishop. He is the author of numerous theological and moralizing essays as well as hymns. His eschatological writings, namely about the Last Judgement, Doomsday, Antichrist etc are most popular.

John of the Ladder
(c.525-606), saint, monk, hermit, one of the great teachers of the Church. He took the tonsure in the Saint Catherine Monastery on mount Sinai and lived 40 years in total isolation. A few years before his death he was chosen abbot of the Sinai Monastery. Author of The Ladder of Paradise, a guide to spiritual life which regards monastic exploit as the process of incessant ascent on the ladder of spiritual purification and perfection and describes steps on the way in detail. The book of John of the Ladder enjoyed great popularity among Byzantine and Russian monks. Feast day: 30 March (12 April).

Unknown Saints

Unknown Saints

Unknown saint
is depicted in a mantle with a paramand and a cowl on his shoulders, in his left hand there is a scroll.

Unknown saint
depicted in a mantle with a cowl on his shoulders.

Sts. Moses Murin and Euphrosynos

Sts. Moses Murin and Euphrosynos

Moses Murin
(left)
(325-400), saint, of Ethiopian origin, in his youth he was a leader of a band of robbers but having repented he withdrew to a monastery where he performed many ascetic deeds. Feast day: 28 August (10 September)

Euphrosynos
(9th century), saint, monk of a Palestinian monastery. He obediently worked in the kitchen as a cook and for his humility and patience God granted him Paradise during his life. Feast day: 11 (24) September.

Sts. Sergius of Radonezh and Cyril of Belozero

Sts. Sergius of Radonezh and Cyril of Belozero

Sergius of Radonezh
(left)
(c. 1314-1392), saint, monk, monastery founder, reformer of Russian monasticism. Secular name Bartholomew. He was born in a village of Barnitsy near Rostov into a boyar family of Cyril and Mary who moved to Radonezh around 1330. After the death of his parents together with his brother Stephen he withdrew to a wilderness near Radonezh and built a wooden church in honour of the Holy Trinity (c. 1335). Having taken the tonsure he consequently became the hegumen of the monastery. Following the counsel of the Constantinople Patriarch Philotheos and blessed by Metropolitan Alexius he introduced the coenobitic charter that was later accepted in numerous Russian monasteries. Apart from the Trinity St. Sergius Monastery Sergius of Radonezh also founded other cloisters while his disciples set up all in all 40 monasteries mainly in the north of Russia. Feast day: 25 September (8 October).

Cyril of Belozero
(1337-1427), saint, monk, adherent of St. Sergius of Radonezh, founder of the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery. Cyril was born in Moscow and took the tonsure in the Simonov Monastery where subsequently he became archimandrite. He was renowned for his spiritual exploits, diligence and wisdom, and possessed the gift of sagacity. In about 1397 he had a vision of the Mother of God and withdrew with monk Ferapont to Belozero where he founded his cloister. In the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery he introduced a very strict ascetic charter and his life served as an example to the brethren. Feast day: 9(22) June.

Parable of the Wedding Feast

Parable of the Wedding Feast

The Gospel according to St. Matthew (22:1-14): “AND Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Widow’s Mite; Healing of Two Blind Men

Widow’s Mite; Healing of Two Blind Men

Widow’s Mite
(left)
The Gospel according to Mark (12:41-44): “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

Healing of two blind men
(right)
The Gospel according to St. Matthew (9:27-31): “And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their ayes were opened; and Jesus straightly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straightly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.”

Withering the Fig Tree; Feast in the house of Simon the Pharisee

Withering the Fig Tree; Feast in the house of Simon the Pharisee

Withering the Fig Tree
(left)
The Gospel according to St. Matthew (21:18-22): “Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no bruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall bask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee
(right)
The Gospel according to St. Luke (7:36-50): “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace”.

Healing of the Man Sick of the Palsy

Healing of the Man Sick of the Palsy

The Gospel according to St. Matthew (9:1-8): “AND he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.”

“...be born from a virginal womb...” (Akathist. Eikos 3)

“...be born from a virginal womb...” (Akathist. Eikos 3)

After the annunciation Mary went to Elisabeth, sister of her mother, wife of priest Zacharias, future mother of John the Baptist. Elisabeth filled with the Holy Ghost saluted Mary and the babe leaped in her womb (Luke 1:39-45).

“Beholding the Godward-pointing Star, the Magi...” (Akathist. Kontakion 5)

“Beholding the Godward-pointing Star, the Magi...” (Akathist. Kontakion 5)

Procession of the Magi. Before Christ was born, a bright Bethlehem star appeared above the cave where Jesus was to be born. The Wise Men from the East saw the star and set out to adore “the born King of the Jews”.

Great Martyr Theodore of Tyre

Great Martyr Theodore of Tyre

“Recruit”, soldier, great martyr, confessed his faith to his commanders and fellow-soldiers and set fire to a pagan temple of Cebele. After flagellation and other tortures he was burnt on a bon-fire in 306. Feast day: 17 February (2 March) and on the first Saturday of the Lent.

Great Martyr Theodore Stratelates

Great Martyr Theodore Stratelates

(“stratelates” – commander-in-chief, † 319), great martyr, born in the city of Euchantum in Asia Minor, appointed commander-in-chief for his courage in a fight with a huge serpent; he was a ruler of Heralacleum. During the time of persecution of Christians he was crucified on a cross by the emperor Licinius (307-324), but healed by God he was later beheaded with a sword. Feast day: 8 (21) February.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Central Lengthwise Nave. North View


Teaching of St. Gregory the Theologian

Teaching of St. Gregory the Theologian

Gregory the Theologian or Nazianzus
(329-389), archbishop of Constantinople, fellow of St. Basil the Great: he ascetisized alongside him and asked for his counsel. At the request of his father, priest Gregory Nazianzus Senior he was ordained presbyter and then took the cathedra of the bishop of Nazianzos in Asia Minor. In 378 the Antioch Council invited Gregory to the patriarch throne to lead the struggle against heresies. An excellent preacher, poet and prose writer, Gregory the Theologian composed numerous works: discourses, epistles, interpretations, hymns, verses that deal with the essence of the Trinity. . There survived 45 sermons, autobiographical poems About my life and About sufferings of my soul. Feast day: 25 January (7 February). He is also depicted in the altar on the southern wall, the first from window.

Martyr Elizabeth and Empress Alexandra

Martyr Elizabeth and Empress Alexandra

Elizabeth
(left)
holy martyr, was tortured in Andrianopolis in the 3rd century. She came to believe in Christ when she saw how patiently bishop Alexandre endured his sufferings. Feast day: 22 October (4 November).

Alexandra, great martyr
empress, wife of the emperor Diocletian. She came to believe in Christ when she watched the steadfastness of faith of great martyr Gregory during his suffering. She was sentenced to death but died on her way to the place of her execution. Feast day: 23 April (6 May), on the same day with saint great martyr Gregory.

Sts. Theodora and Martyr Thekla

Sts. Theodora and Martyr Thekla

Theodora
(left)
one of the three saints of the same name

Theodora of Soluncia
(9th century). She took the veil together with her daughter after her husband’s death, worked miracles not only during her lifetime but also after her death (Feast day: 5 (18) April);

Theodora of Caesarea
(8th century), took the veil under the emperor Leo the Isaurian. Fleeing from marriage, she spent all her life in the monastery in ardent prayer and exploits. Feast day: 30 December (12 January);

Theodora Tsargrad
(10th century), who having become a widow, took the veil and lived under the guidance of St. Basil the New to the ripe old age. She died in 940. Feast day: 30 December (12 January).

Thekla
(right)
holy martyr, equal-to-the-apostles, disciple of apostle Paul. A daughter of rich and noble parents came from Iconium. For her refusal to marry a resident of Antioch, Thekla was thrown to wild animals but remained unharmed. Having received freedom she ran away to Seleucia and spread Christian teachings there. Feast day: 24 September (8 October).

St. Makrina and Unknown Martyr

St. Makrina and Unknown Martyr

Makrina
(left)
sister of saint priest Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, born in Cappadocia at the beginning of the 4th century. Having chosen the life of a nun, she persuaded her mother to take the veil with her and subsequently guided other nuns in the convent. She excelled in strictness and temperance and was endowed the gift of miracle-working. Feast day: 19 July (1 August).

Unknown Martyr (Barbara?)
depicted in royal vestments with a diadem on her head and a cross in her right hand. Barbara was martyred under the emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the 4th century. The daughter of a noble pagan, for her Christian faith she was tortured and executed upon his father’s initiative. Her relics rest in the St. Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev. Feast day: 4(17) December.

Saint Euphosynia and Martyr Anastasia

Saint Euphosynia and Martyr Anastasia

St.Euphrosynia
(left)
lived in the 5th century in Alexandria, came from a noble family. She secretly took the veil and disguised in a male dress worked in a male monastery. She spent 38 years in labour and prayer in her solitary cell. Before her death she revealed her secret to her grieving father. In her memory, Euphrasynia (1212-1250), princess of Suzdal, the elder daughter of Mikhail of Chernigov became a nun. Feast day: 25 September (8 October).

Anastasia
holy martyr, a Roman by birth, daughter of rich parents, was brought up by a Christian mother and Christian teacher Chrisogenes with whom she corresponded during her life. Anastasia married a Roman pagan, but under the pretext of a contrived illness she preserved her virginity although she had to go to prison. When her husband died and she was free, she devoted her life to imprisoned Christians (hence the nickname the Alleviatrix-of-Captives). She suffered a martyr’s death under the emperor Diocletian. Feast day: 22 December (4 January).

Foremother Rachel and Forefather Jacob

Foremother Rachel and Forefather Jacob

Rachel
(left)
In the Old Testament the young daughter of Laban, cousin and wife of Jacob, sister of Leah. Died when giving birth to Benjamin. Feast day: during the week of saint forefathers.

Jacob or Israel
Patriarch, son Rebecca and Isaac, grandson of Abraham, he was the founder of “the twelve tribes of Israel” named after his sons. He was the younger twin brother and with the help of his mother he got his blind father’s blessing for the birthright. Fearing the revenge of his brother Esau, he withdrew to Mesopotamia where he married daughters of his uncle Laban, Rachel and Leah, by whom he had twelve sons and one daughter Dinah. Upon his return from Mesopotamia he lived in Palestina. When Jacob moved to his son Joseph to Egypt, they lived in the rich province of Goshen. The fate of “the twelve tribes of Israel” descending from his sons was prophesied by Jacob when he blessed each of them before his death. Jacob died at 147 and his body was transferred to the land of promise. Feast day: during the week of saint fathers and the week of saint forefathers.

Forefathers Reuben and Simeon

Forefathers Reuben and Simeon

Reuben
(left)
the first son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob (Israel) by his cousin Leah. (Genesis 29:32)

Simeon
the second son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob by Leah (Genesis 29:33).

Forefathers Judah and Levi

Forefathers Judah and Levi

Judah
(left)
the fourth son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob by Leah (Genesis 29:35), founder of “the tribe of Judah” out of which Messiah Jesus Christ descended.

Levi
the third son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob by his wife Leah (Genesis 29:34).

Forefathers Joseph and Benjamin

Forefathers Joseph and Benjamin

Joseph
(left)
The eleventh son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob by Rachel. Being his father’s favourite he was hated by his elder brothers who sold him for 20 pieces of silver to Midianites merchant men (Genesis 37:26-28). The merchant took Judah to Egypt and after strenuous ordeals he became the second most important ruler after Pharaoh (Genesis 39:41). When Jacob’s sons arrived in Egypt in search for bread, Judah revealed his identity to them and moved his clan together with its head, Jacob, to Egypt (Genesis 45-47). He died at the age of 110 and left behind two sons and grandsons and great grandsons. Feast day: during the week of holy fathers and week of holy forefathers and on Passion Monday.

Benjamin
The youngest son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob, “son of fortune”, called Benomi (“son of sorrow”) as his birth caused fatal outcome for Benjamin’s mother Rachel, favourite wife of Jacob (Genesis 35:16-20). Feast day: during the week of holy forefathers.

Parable of Wise and Foolish Virgins

Parable of Wise and Foolish Virgins

The Gospel according to St. Matthew (25:1-13): “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their clamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

Apostles and Angels in composition Last Judgement

Apostles and Angels in composition Last Judgement

Apostles (in Greek “messenger, envoy”), Jesus Christ’s disciples, chosen by him to preach the Gospel, the good news about the coming of the Kingdom of God. They are divided into the 12 apostles, the closest disciples of Jesus Christ and the 70 apostles. Among the 12 apostles were Jesus’s privileged disciples: Simon (Peter), his brother Andrew, James and John (sons of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew (Nathanael in the Gospel according St. John), Thomas, Matthew, James (son of Altheus), Judas or Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananaen or Zealot and Matthias replacing Judas Iscariot. Paul, the pagan Apostle, also claimed the title of the 12 privileged on the ground that he had been commissioned by God. The mission of the 12 privileged was according to the evangelist: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:14). Feast day: 12 June (13 July). Traditionally, in Orthodox art apostle Paul and evangelists Mark and Luke, who belonged to the 70 apostles, are depicted among the 12. The 12 apostles upon twelve thrones with open books and angels, celestial guards, standing behind them – part of the composition The Last Judgement. According to Jesus Christ’s promise (Matthew 19:28), the apostles are represented as judges sitting “upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel”.

Seraph

Seraph

One of the nine ranks in the hierarchy of angels mentioned in Holy Writ. According Isaiah’s vision, seraphim have a human form and six wings: two wings cover their faces, two wings cover their legs and two wings fly. Seraphim encircle the throne of God and cry continuously: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory”. (Isaiah 6:2) According to the angelic hierarchy described in the book of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite Celestial Hierarchy seraphim are the highest rank (seraphim, cherubim, thrones), closest to God.
They are also depicted on the key-stone of the arch of the eastern vault and on the soffit of the altar’s window.

High Priest Melchizedek

High Priest Melchizedek

The king of Salem, the priest of the most high God who blessed Abraham and in his person all Old Testament priests (Genesis 14:18-24). According to St. Paul’s interpretation (Hebrews 7:17), Melchizedek is the prototype of Christ, “a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec”.
He is also depicted on the top of the drum.

“On hearing the Angels praising...” (Akathist. Eikos 4)

“On hearing the Angels praising...” (Akathist. Eikos 4)

Nativity of Jesus. Christmas. The Roman emperor Octavian Augustus ordered to conduct a population census for the purposes of which everyone had to go to the town his family came from. Pregnant Mary with Joseph who she was betrothed to, proceeded to Bethlehem, the city of David, but had to stay in a cave as there was no place for them in the inn. While they were there she gave birth to Jesus. Shepherds who were near the cave heard angels announcing the birth of Jesus and hurried to the cave to worship the son of God. Christmas is celebrated on 25 December (7 January).

“Beholding herself in purity, the holy one...” (Akathist, Kontakion 2)

“Beholding herself in purity, the holy one...” (Akathist, Kontakion 2)

The Annunciation takes place in a house: the disturbed Mary reasons with archangel Gabriel what sort of greeting this might be.

Great Martyr Demetrios of Soluncia

Great Martyr Demetrios of Soluncia

(† c. 306), great martyr, warrior and ruler of Solun (Thessalonika in Greece) who openly confessed and glorified God thus extirpating pagan rites among citizens of the city. He was martyred under the emperor Galerius Maximian (305-311). He was venerated in Byzantium and Russia. Feast day: 26 October (9 November).

Apostle James, Brother of Jesus

Apostle James, Brother of Jesus

(† c. 63), righteous apostle, one of the 70, son of Mary’s betrothed Joseph. Upon Christ’s resurrection he headed the Christian community together with Peter and John, was chosen first bishop of the Church of Jerusalem and presided over the Council of Jerusalem. He composed the Divine Liturgy that was used as the basis for liturgies by Basil the Great and John Chrysostomos. The Epistle of St. James is included into the New Testament. He died a martyr’s death when he was thrown down from the roof of the Jerusalem temple and then stoned by the Pharissees and the Scribes. Feast day: 23 October (5 November).

Prophet King David

Prophet King David

The second king of the Israelites (9th cent. BC), born in Bethlehem, the youngest son of Jesse of the tribe of Judas. First he was anointed sovereign of the tribe of Judas and later of all the tribes of Jerusalem. At the beginning of his reign he conquered Jerusalem and made it his capital where he placed the Arc of the Covenant and conceived to erect a temple in Jerusalem but it was built only by his son Solomon. This temple became the Old Testament prototype of the Mother of God, a living temple of the incarnated God. David’s psalms collected in the Psalter rank him among the greatest writers and prophets. They prophesy a number of circumstances of Christ’s life: his incarnation, redeeming sacrifice and resurrection and contain symbolic images of the Mother of God as “the tabernacle of God”. Feast day: during the Christmas week.

Prophet Moses (Solomon?)

Prophet Moses (Solomon?)

Leader and lawgiver of the Jewish people, son of Abraham and Yochebed, brother of Aaron. His mother set him afloat on the Nile in a reed basket to save him from an edict calling for the death of all newborn Hebrew males. He was found and brought up by the Pharaoh’s daughter. He killed an Egyptian who beat a Jew and had to flee to Midian where he lived 40 years. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush and told him to deliver the Hebrews from Egypt. The exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt lasted 40 years. On mount Sinai Moses received the Law, including the Ten Commandments and a number of other codes and rules and upon god’s prescription he made a portable tent for public worship: the Tabernacle where the Arc of the Covenant was. Moses’ life and the contents of the Law received by him are recounted in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy that together with Genesis are collectively called the Pentateuch. Feast day: 4 (17) September.

Mother of God on the Throne with Archangels Michael and Gabriel

Mother of God on the Throne with Archangels Michael and Gabriel

Festive frontal representation of the Mother of God with the baby on the throne, traditional for the altar shell.

Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

(† 444), archbishop, headed the Alexandrian Church for 32 years. He led struggle against the Novitian and Nestorian heresies as well as that of pagans and Jews. At the 3rd Ecumenical Council where he clamoured against Nestorius, Cyril was imprisoned by the emperor Theodosius the Younger, but was later freed, the work proceeded and the Council condemned Nestorius.
Cyril’s legacy consists of numerous writings: commentaries on the Gospels, five books against Nestorians, works on the Holy Trinity etc. Feast day: 9 (22) June and 18 January jointly with Athanasius of Alexandria.

St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus) from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus) from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

Gregory the Theologian or Nazianzus (329-389), archbishop of Constantinople. Fellow-monk of St. Basil the Great: he ascetisized with him in the wilderness and subsequently asked for advice from him. Upon the demand of his father, bishop of Nazianzus Gregory the Senior he was ordained presbyter and took the cathedra of bishop of Nazianzos in Asia Minor. In 378, the Antioch council invited Gregory the Theologian to the Constantinople cathedra where he led struggle against the Arians and the Apollinarians. An excellent preacher, poet and writer, Gregory the Theologian is the author of numerous writings: discourses, epistles, hymns, poems that referred to the nature of the Holy Trinity. There survived 45 homilies of Gregory the Theologian, autobiographical poems “About My Life”, “About My Fate” and “About the Sufferings of My Soul”. Feast day: 25 January (7 February).

St. John Chrysostom from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

St. John Chrysostom from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

John Chrysostomos (c. 347-407), Archbishop of Constantinople. He was born in Antioch and in his youth spent four years in the wilderness with monks and another two in solitude. In 381 he was ordained deacon. When ordained presbyter he delivered daily sermons in Constantinople in which he castigated luxury and vanity of Constantinople ladies that was taken by Empress Eudoxia as personal insult. At her urgent request he was condemned at the Church Council and exiled. Just after he left there occurred a terrible earthquake and the Empress who saw a sign of heavenly wrath in it hurried to recall the priest. John Chrysostom continued to expose public vice and in 404 was banished again to Kukuz (Armenia) and from there to Pitiunt (Pitsunda) but died on the way to Komanakh on 4 (17) September. John Chrysostom’s eight hundred and four homilies are considered classical examples of Christian oratorical art. The priest was also esteemed for interpreting Holy Writ and arranging and compiling Divine liturgy.

Apostle James, Brother of Jesus from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

Apostle James, Brother of Jesus from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

(† c. 63), righteous apostle, one of the 70, son of Mary’s betrothed, Joseph. Upon Christ’s resurrection he headed the Christian community together with Peter and John, was chosen first bishop of the Church of Jerusalem and presided over the Council of Jerusalem. He composed the Divine Liturgy that was used as the basis of liturgies by Basil the Great and John Chrysostomos. The Epistle of St. James is included into the New Testament. He died a martyr’s death when he was thrown down from the roof of the Jerusalem temple and then stoned by the Pharissees and the Scribes. Feast day: 23 October (5 November).

Old Keter

Old Keter

Throne with Chalice and Paten (Discos)

Throne with Chalice and Paten (Discos)

There is a throne with a chalice and a paten on it: the vessels are used during the Divine Liturgy and at Holy Communion: the faithful partake bread which is thought to be the actual body of Christ and wine which is thought to be the actual blood of Christ and thus partake the eternal life.

Chalice
a cup on a high stand used during the Divine liturgy for the consecrated wine representing the blood of Jesus Christ.

Discos
(in Greek ‘plate’) is a plate used during the Divine Liturgy to hold the Lamb (portion of the host representing the body of Christ) as well as particles for the Theotokos, the Saints and living and departed.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Central Lengthwise Nave. South View


Teaching of St. Basil the Great

Teaching of St. Basil the Great

Basil the Great (330-379) – archbishop of Caesaria of the Roman province of Cappadocia, an advocate of Orthodoxy against the Arian heresy. Gregory, the Bishop of Nyssa and Peter, the Bishop of Sebastia were his younger brothers. He was on friendly terms with Gregory the Theologian when they studied together in Athens. St. Basil the Great worked out the coenobitic charter of the eastern monasticism and composed the divine liturgy which is conducted nowadays only 10 times per year. He also played a significant role in the development of the Orthodox teaching on the Holy Trinity. St. Basil the Great, who undermined his health by ascetic exploits and referred to himself as old man in his letters from the age of 40, died on 1 January when he was 49. His memory is celebrated on this day.
He is also depicted on the southern wall, the first from the window.

Sts. Joachim and Anne, Forebearers of God

Sts. Joachim and Anne, Forebearers of God

Joachim
(left)
Father of the Mother of God descended from the tribe of Judas, the family of king and prophet David. Feast day: 9 (22) September.
He is also depicted in the composition Fondling of Mary.

Anne Mother of God
after 20 years of childlessness gave birth to Mary. She descends from Aaron. Feast day: 25 July (7 August) (Assumption), 9(22) September, 9 (22) December (conception).
She is also depicted in the Nativity of Mother of God and Fondling of Mary.

Forefathers Issahar and Zebulun

Forefathers Issahar and Zebulun

Issahar
(left)
the ninth son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob, the fifth son by Leah (Genesis 30:16-18).

Zebulun
the tenth son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob, the last of the six sons born by Leah. (Genesis 30:19-20)

Forefathers Naphtali and Asher

Forefathers Naphtali and Asher

Naphtali
(left)
The sixth son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob by Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, half-brother of Dan (Genesis 30:8).

Asher
The eighth son of Biblical Patriarch Jacob by Zilpah, Leah’s maid, half-brother of Gad (Genesis 30:12-13).

Forefathers Gad and Dan

Forefathers Gad and Dan

Gad
(left)
The seventh son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob by Zilpah, Leah’s maid, brother of Asher (Genesis 30:9-11); founder of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, distinct for their belligerence.

Dan
The fifth son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob by Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, brother of Naphtali (Genesis 30:1-6).

Empress Helena and Unknown Saint

Empress Helena and Unknown Saint

Helena
(left)
(c.244-327) – saint equal-to-the-apostles empress, mother of the emperor Constantine the Great, she furthered the spreading of Christianity that became the official religion of the Roman Empire after the Milan Edict (315). In 326, she undertook a pilgrimage to Palestine where after long inquiries and investigation she finally discovered the true cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified. The fact gave rise to the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. To commemorate the suffering on the cross and the resurrection of the Saviour Helena erected the Church of the Resurrection (The Holy Sepulchre) on the Calvary. Feast day: 21 May (3 June).

Unknown saint
A woman in monastic clothes with a scroll.

Martyr Marina and Saint Martyr Anastasia

Martyr Marina and Saint Martyr Anastasia

Marina
(left)
Saint martyr, born in Antioch into a family of a pagan priest. During the persecution of Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), at the age of 15 she was put into prison and after long tortures she was beheaded. Feast day: 17 (30) July.

Anastasia
Saint martyr who was martyred during the persecution of the Christians under the Roman emperor Decius (249-251). After long tortures she was beheaded with a sword. Anastasia of Rome is commonly named the Senior as opposed to the Junior who suffered later under the emperor Diocletian. Feast day: 29 October (11 November).

Martyr Juliana and Saint Martyr Eudoxia

Martyr Juliana and Saint Martyr Eudoxia

Juliana
(left)
Saint martyr, born and martyred in Nicomedia at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries. Feast day: 21 December (3 January).

Eudoxia
Saint martyr, who was baptized and having given away his wealth she withdrew into a convent. There she took upon herself very strict acts of penitence and in exchange she was endowed miracle-working gifts. She lived in the convent for 56 years and died a martyr’s death under the rule of Antoninus Pius in 152. Feast day: 1 (14) March.

Martyrs Paraskeva and Theodoulia (?)

Martyrs Paraskeva and Theodoulia (?)

Paraskeva
(left)
Saint martyr, daughter of rich and pious parents, who especially venerated the day of the Passions of Christ, Friday and therefore named her daughter Paraskeva (in Greek ‘Friday’). From her youth she lead an ascetic life. During the persecution of Christians under Diocletian she was taken to court to the ruler of the province. When she refused to give up her faith, she was cruelly tortured and beheaded. Feast day: 29 October (10 November).

Theodoulia (?)
Saint martyr who lived in Anazarua and martyred under the reign of the Roman emperors Maximilian and Diocletian. The servants of the cruel ruler of the city Pelagios searched and brought Christians to him for trial. When she was tortured, she miraculously remained unharmed, thus converting the witnesses of her miracles into Christians. She was burnt together with the newly converted Makarios and Euagrios. Feast day: 5(18) February.

Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee; Parable of the Prodigal Son

Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee; Parable of the Prodigal Son

The parable of the Publican and the Pharisee
(left)
The Gospel according to St. Luke (18:9-14): “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted”.

Parable of the prodigal son
(right)
The Gospel according to St. Luke (15:11-32): “And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and ball that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

Apostles and Angels from The Last Judgement composition

Apostles and Angels from The Last Judgement composition

Apostles (in Greek ‘messenger, envoy’), Jesus Christ’s disciples, chosen by him to preach the Gospel, The good news about the coming of the Kingdom of God. They are divided into the 12 apostles, the closest disciples of Jesus Christ and the 70 apostles. Among the 12 apostles were Jesus’s privileged disciples: Simon (Peter), his brother Andrew, James and John (sons of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew (Nathanael in the Gospel according St. John), Thomas, Matthew, James (son of Altheus), Judas or Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananaen or Zealot and Matthias replacing Judas Iscariot. Paul, the pagan Apostle, also claimed the title of the 12 privileged on the ground that he had been commissioned by God. The mission of the 12 selected was according to the evangelist: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:14). Feast day: 12 June (13 July). Traditionally, in Orthodox art apostle Paul and evangelists Mark and Luke, who belonged to the 70 apostles, are depicted among the 12. The 12 apostles upon twelve thrones with open books and angels, celestial guards, standing behind them – part of the composition The Last Judgement. According to Jesus Christ’s promise (Matthew 19:28), the apostles are represented as judges sitting “upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel”.

Seraph

Seraph

One of the nine ranks in the hierarchy of angels mentioned in Holy Writ. According Isaiah’s vision, seraphim have a human form and six wings: two wings cover their faces, two wings cover their legs and two wings fly. Seraphim encircle the throne of God and cry continuously: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:2). According to the angelic hierarchy described in the book of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite Celestial Hierarchy seraphim are the highest rank (seraphim, cherubim, thrones), closest to God. They are also depicted on the arch of the eastern vault and on the soffit of the altar’s window.

High Priest Aaron

High Priest Aaron

Son of Amram and Jochebed, elder brother of Moses and his assistant in Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt to Canaan (Palestine). He is the first high priest who confirmed his right to conduct religious rites by the fact that his rod was the only one out of 12 rods of the 12 tribes of Israel to blossom in the Arc of the Covenant.

“Seeking to know the incomprehensible knowledge...” (Akathist Eikos 2)

“Seeking to know the incomprehensible knowledge...” (Akathist Eikos 2)

The Annunciation takes place in a house: Mary addresses archangel Gabriel seeking to understand the mystery of the greeting.

“Having doubtful thoughts...” (Akathist. Kontakion 4)

“Having doubtful thoughts...” (Akathist. Kontakion 4)

Joseph’s doubts. After the sojourn with Elisabeth Mary returned to her betrothed Joseph. When he saw Mary pregnant, Joseph started doubting her immaculacy, but he learnt from the angel the mystery of her conception through the power of the Holy Spirit and was told to accept Mary.

Metropolitan Peter

Metropolitan Peter

Born in Volynia in the second half of the 13th century. At 12 he entered the monastery where he learnt to paint icons. Afterwards, he founded the Novodvorsk cloister on the River Rata. In 1305 he was ordained Metropolitan of All Rus and furthered the establishment of the true faith and reconciliation of hostile princes. In 1312 he received a writ of protection for the Russian clergy from the Tatar Horde. In 1325 upon request of the Moscow Grand Prince Ivan Kalita he transferred his residence from Vladimir to Moscow. He predicted the future rise of Moscow. In 1326, the year of his death, he blessed the laying of the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin where he was buried. He was canonized 13 years later and was venerated as a Patron Saint of Moscow. Feast day: 21 December (3 January). Transfer of the relics: 5 (18) October, 24 August (6 September).

Great Martyr George

Great Martyr George

(† c. 303), warrior, great martyr. He came from a noble family of Cappadocia and held a high officer rank in the Roman army. During the persecution of Christians under the emperor Decletian George retired from the army and started to confess Christianity for which he underwent excruciating tortures that lasted eight days and was beheaded in Nicomedia. Feast day: 23 April (6 May).

Prophet Isaiah

Prophet Isaiah

One of the four great prophets; he came from a royal family and was called to prophesy by God who appeared to him surrounded by seraphim. In response to his words: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” on of the seraphim touched him with a “live coal” taken from the altar and said “Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged” (Isaiah 6:1-7). He was sent by God to call on Jews to renounce idolatry and he prophesied around 60 years. He died a martyr’s death (he was sawn through by order of the Jewish king Manasseh). His legacy consists of the book of prophecies where he predicted the birth of a Messiah by a Virgin and described his life and suffering for the sins of the World as well as his Resurrection. Feast day: 9 (22) May.

Prophet Daniel

Prophet Daniel

One of the four great prophets; he came from the house of David and lived in the 6th century BC during the Babylonian captivity. He was noted for piety and wisdom and had a gift to interpret dreams, thanks to which he enjoyed a privileged position in the court of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. Among Daniel’s prophecies there was a prophecy of a stone of the mountain not made by hands that destroyed the fearful idol. It alluded to the Immaculate Mother of God who gave birth to the Saviour, the conqueror of Darkness. Feast day: 17 (30) December.
He is also depicted in the Vision of Prophet Daniel in the composition The Last Judgement.

Mother of God Enthroned with Archangels Michael and Gabriel

Mother of God Enthroned with Archangels Michael and Gabriel

Festive frontal representation of Mother of God with the baby on the throne, traditional for the altar shell.

Saint Priest Basil the Great from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

Saint Priest Basil the Great from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

(296—373), archbishop, guided the Alexandrian Church for 47 years from the age of 28. He defended Orthodox precepts from the Arian heresy. His teachings served as the basis of the resolution of the I Ecumenical Council of Nicaea on anathema against the Arianism. He spent over 20 years in exile hiding from the Arians. He wrote numerous works: four Orations directed against the Arian heresy, an epistle on the human nature of Jesus Christ, four epistles on divinity of the Holy Spirit, commentaries to Holy Writ, hagiography of St. Antonius the Great. Feast day: 2(15) May and 18 January (jointly with Cyril of Alexandria).

Unknown High Priest from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

Unknown High Priest from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

A priest with short hair and a trimmed beard.

Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Trimyphunteia from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Trimyphunteia from The Liturgy of Church Fathers

(end of the 3rd cent. – c.348), bishop, was born on the island of Crete. He was a shepherd, had a wife and children and gave away what he had to the poor. He had a miracle-working gift. After his wife’s death he was ordained bishop of Trimyphunteia under the emperor Constantine the Great. He took part in the 1st Ecumenical Council against the Arian heresy. Feast day: 12(25) December.

Old Keter

Old Keter

Throne with the Baby on the Discos

Throne with the Baby on the Discos

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Northern Lengthwise Nave. North View


“Because of you, O Full of grace, all creation rejoices”

“Because of you, O Full of grace, all creation rejoices”

It is an illustration of the hymn ascribed to John Damascene (8th cent.): “ Because of you, O Full of grace, all creation rejoices, the ranks of Angels and the human race; hallowed Temple and spiritual Paradise, pride of Virgins; from you God was incarnate and he who is our God before the ages became a little child. For he made your womb a throne and caused it to become wider than the heavens. Because of you, O Full of grace, all creation rejoices; glory to you”. The Mother of God is depicted on the throne against the cathedral surrounded by angels and ’human kind’ that represent the council of all the saints. To the left of the throne is John Damascene.

Saint Gerasimus with a Lion

Saint Gerasimus with a Lion

(† 475), around 450 he came from the Thebaid wilderness (Egypt) to Palestine and settled down in Jordan where he founded a monastery. During the Lent he used to withdraw to the wilderness and eat nothing until Easter when he received communion. A lion helped Gerasimus throughout his life and after Gerasim’s death died on his grave and was buried nearby. Feast day: 4 (17) March.

“When Symeon was prepared to leave from this age of deception...” (Akathist. Kontakion 7)

“When Symeon was prepared to leave from this age of deception...” (Akathist. Kontakion 7)

Candlemas, the feast of the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. According to the Jewish tradition Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth and encountered the righteous elder Simeon and prophetess Anna. Simeon was foretold that he should not see death before he had seen the son of God born by Mary. When he took the baby into his hands he recognized in him the Messiah, the Saviour of Israel and prophesied his life. The feast is celebrated on 2 (15) February.

“Wishing to bestow His grace...” (Akathist, Kontakion 12)

“Wishing to bestow His grace...” (Akathist, Kontakion 12)

The descent into hell is described in the apocryphal gospel of Nicodemus. Having descended into hell Christ destroyed the gates and delivered the souls of the Old Testament righteous men who prayed for his coming. The composition of the Ferapontov Monastery includes Christ who tears the scroll with sins, the so-called “bondage records” that symbolize the sinfulness of the human race.

“Whilst praising your Offspring...” (Akathist, Eikos 12)

“Whilst praising your Offspring...” (Akathist, Eikos 12)

A temple with an open door against which the Mother of God with the baby is depicted, symbolically represents the Theotokos as “a living temple”, a tabernacle for the incarnated God. According to the text of the eikos the “godly kings” are on the left and the “faithful priests” are on the right.

“O all-hymned Mother...” (Akathist, Kontakion 13)

“O all-hymned Mother...” (Akathist, Kontakion 13)

A solemn carrying out of one of the most venerated relics of Constantinople, the miracle-working icon, the Virgin Hodegetria. In the centre of the icon there is a deacon who holds the icon the way it was actually carried in Constantinople: the deacon’s hands are stretched out to the sides while the staff of the icon is fixed on his belt. The Emperor, Empress, Patriarch, Clergy and people surround it.

The Sixth Ecumenical Council

The Sixth Ecumenical Council

(III Constantinople) was convened in 680-681 under the emperor Constantine IV to condemn the heresy of Monothelites; 170 patriarchs confirmed the precept of two divine and human wills in Jesus Christ. The Trullan synod held in 692 supplemented the 6th council and drew up 102 canons of the Apostolic constitution. Feast day: 23 January.

The Seventh Ecumenical Council

The Seventh Ecumenical Council

(II Nicaea) was convened in Nicaea in 787 under the emperor Constantine VI and his mother Irina to fight the iconoclastic heresy: among 367 patriarchs were Tarasy of Tsaregrad, Hippolite of Alexandria, Iliah of Jerusalem. Feast day: Sunday nearest to 11 October.

Archangel Michael

Archangel Michael

A half-length image.
One of the seven archangels, the leader of the celestial army in a battle with Satan (Jude 12:7), the protector of Israel (Daniel 10:13 etc.) Feast days: 6 (19) September; 8 (21) November. He is represented in the dress of a warrior as a guardian of the cathedral gate punishing sinners entering it.

The Inscription

The Inscription

Two lines of the inscription: “in the year of 7010, on August 6, the day of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, the wall painting of the church started and was finished 2 months later on September 8, the day of the Nativity of the Mother of God under the Grand Prince of All Rus Ivan Vassilievich and the Grand Prince of All Rus Vassily Ivanovich and Archbishop Tikhon. It was made by the icon painter Dionisy with his sons. O Christ, deliver them from eternal suffering”.

Eulogy’s Vision

Eulogy’s Vision

The composition illustrates the tale about the Blessed Eulogy: during the Easter service he saw angels that started giving presents to monks in accordance with their piety and spiritual deeds (a host or copper, silver or gold coins) whereas negligent monks received nothing.

Apostle Silvanus

Apostle Silvanus

Assistant and follower of apostles Peter and Paul. He was the first archbishop in Salonika (Thessalonika) where he died a martyr’s death. Feast days: 4 (17) January and 30 July (13 August).

Apostle Titus

Apostle Titus

He was born into a pagan family from Antioch (Galathians: 2:1). He was a witness of the last two sermons, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; he took part in baptizing apostle Paul and followed him in his travels (Corinthians II 8:6, 16, 23); he was sent on errands to various churches, including the Church of Jerusalem. Paul ordained him bishop of Crete where he died at 94. Feast day: 25 August (7 September).

Unknown Priest (apostle of 70)

Unknown Priest (apostle of 70)

A middle-aged man with a short and slightly grey beard in a himation with a stole; he blesses with his right hand while holding a scroll in his left.

Unknown Priest (Apostle of the 70)

Unknown Priest (Apostle of the 70)

An elder with a parted beard in a himation and stole (not crossed); he blesses with his right hand while holding a scroll in his left hand.

Seraph

Seraph

One of the nine ranks in the hierarchy of angels mentioned in Holy Writ. According Isaiah’s vision, seraphim have a human form and six wings: two wings cover their faces, two wings cover their legs and two wings fly. Seraphim encircle the throne of God and cry continuously: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:2). According to the angelic hierarchy described in the book of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite Celestial Hierarchy seraphim are the highest rank (seraphim, cherubim, thrones), closest to God. They are also depicted on the key-stone of the arch of the eastern vault and on the soffit of the altar’s window.

John the Baptist, Angel of the Wilderness

John the Baptist, Angel of the Wilderness

The representation of John the Baptist in a form of an angel (with wings) is based on the Old Testament prophecy of an angel sent by God to prepare the way for Him (Malachi 3:1). The New Testament (Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2) attributes this prophecy to John the Baptist who prepared the way for the incarnated Christ; the last of the prophets, the precursor who announced the coming of Jesus Christ.
He is the son of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, a cousin of the mother of God. Called by “the word of God” (Luke 3:2) John the Baptist preached “in the wilderness of Judea” (Matthew 3:1) and “all the region around the Jourdan” (Luke 3:3). His preaching of repentance and the imminent coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 3:2) attracted a great deal of disciples and followers. As an outward sign of repentance and spiritual renewal John the Baptist chose a ceremony of “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3), ablution in water that Jesus Christ among many others submitted to in waters of the Jordan. At this the covenant came true: “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” (John 1:33) John the Baptist was executed by Herod Antipas for condemning his illegal marriage to Herodias. Feast days: 7 (20) January (Synaxis), 24 February (9 March), 24 June (7 July), 29 August (11 September). It is also depicted in the composition The Last Judgement (the Deesis) and in the Deesis above the western portal.

Angel and Deacons

Angel and Deacons

Five deacons headed by angels worship baby Christ, the Lamb, represented in the key-stone of the altar. Deacon (in Greek ‘servant, waiter’) accompanies the priest during Communion (Philip I, 1:1, Timothy III, 8:12); the lowest grade of clergy. Deacons help presbyters or bishops to hand out the sacraments and in other duties: oversight of the treasury, care of the altar, throne and letter writing. Selection and ordination of the first seven deacons Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas are described in the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-7).

Seraph

Seraph

One of the nine ranks in the hierarchy of angels mentioned in Holy Writ. According Isaiah’s vision, seraphim have a human form and six wings: two wings cover their faces, two wings cover their legs and two wings fly. Seraphim encircle the throne of God and cry continuously: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:2). According to the angelic hierarchy described in the book of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite Celestial Hierarchy seraphim are the highest rank (seraphim, cherubim, thrones), closest to God.
They are also depicted on the key-stone of the arch of the eastern vault and on the soffit of the altar’s window.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Northern Lengthwise Nave. South View


“...was wholly present with those on earth, yet never absent from those in Heaven...” (Akathist, Eikos 8)

“...was wholly present with those on earth, yet never absent from those in Heaven...” (Akathist, Eikos 8)

Deesis (Saviour enthroned, Theotokos and John the Baptist) with Old Keter in a medallion supported by angels. Below are the righteous men in white clothes rising from the dead. Christ’s gesture emphasizes the role of the Theotokos in the incarnation and birth of the Saviour.

“...invincible Champion...” (Akathist. Kontakion 1)

“...invincible Champion...” (Akathist. Kontakion 1)

Veneration of the Theotokos icon. Clergy and common people are praying to the Theotokos for deliverance from misfortunes on the sides of the portable Hodegetria icon.
It is believed that the kontakion “Unto you, O Theotokos, invincible Champion” was written later than the main text of the Akathist as it was first performed on 7 August 626 to commemorate the end of the siege of Constantinople by Persians and Avars.

Apostle Silas

Apostle Silas

Unknown Priest (apostle of the 70)

Unknown Priest (apostle of the 70)

A middle-aged man with a short and slightly grey beard in a himation with a stole; he blesses with his right hand while holding a scroll in his left.

Martyrs Kyrikos and Julitta

Martyrs Kyrikos and Julitta

Martyrs from Iconium in Asia Minor. A widow of a noble family, Christian, mother of three-year-old Kyrikos left her home during the persecution of the emperor Diocletian. Around 305 they were detained in Tarsa for confessing Christianity and killed: first they killed Kyrikos in front of his mother, then after tortures Julitta. The relics of Kyrikos and Julitta were recovered under the emperor Constantine the Great. Feast day: 15(28) July.

Great Martyr Nikita

Great Martyr Nikita

(† 372), great martyr, Goth, warrior, was baptized by a Gothic bishop Theophilus and preached Christianity among his tribe. After tortures he was burnt by king Athanarick. Feast day: 15 (28) September.

Seraph

Seraph

One of the nine ranks in the hierarchy of angels mentioned in Holy Writ. According Isaiah’s vision, seraphim have a human form and six wings: two wings cover their faces, two wings cover their legs and two wings fly. Seraphim encircle the throne of God and cry continuously: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:2). According to the angelic hierarchy described in the book of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite Celestial Hierarchy seraphim are the highest rank (seraphim, cherubim, thrones), closest to God.
They are also depicted on the key-stone of the arch of the eastern vault and on the soffit of the altar’s window.

John the Baptist, Angel of Wilderness

John the Baptist, Angel of Wilderness

The representation of John the Baptist in a form of an angel (with wings) is based on the Old Testament prophecy of an angel sent by God to prepare the way for Him (Malachi 3:1). The New Testament (Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2) attributes this prophecy to John the Baptist who prepared the way for the incarnated Christ.
The last of the prophets, the precursor who announced the coming of Jesus Christ. He is the son of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, a cousin of the mother of God. Called by “the word of God” (Luke 3:2) John the Baptist preached “in the wilderness of Judea” (Matthew 3:1) and “all the region around the Jourdan” (Luke 3:3). His preaching of repentance and the imminent coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 3:2) attracted a great deal of disciples and followers. As an outward sign of repentance and spiritual renewal John the Baptist chose a ceremony of “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3), ablution in water that Jesus Christ among many others submitted to in waters of the Jordan. At this the covenant came true: “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” (John 1:33) John the Baptist was executed by Herod Antipas for condemning his illegal marriage to Herodias. Feast days: 7 (20) January (Synaxis), 24 February (9 March), 24 June (7 July), 29 August (11 September). It is also depicted in the composition The Last Judgement (the Deesis) and in the Deesis above the western portal.

Angel and Deacons

Angel and Deacons

Five deacons headed by angels worship baby Christ, the Lamb, represented in the key-stone of the altar.
Deacon (in Greek servant, waiter) accompanies the priest during Communion (Philip I, 1:1, Timothy III, 8:12); the lowest grade of clergy. Deacons help presbyters or bishops to hand out the sacraments and in other duties: oversight of the treasury, care of the altar, throne and letter writing.

Seraph

Seraph

One of the nine ranks in the hierarchy of angels mentioned in Holy Writ. According Isaiah’s vision, seraphim have a human form and six wings: two wings cover their faces, two wings cover their legs and two wings fly. Seraphim encircle the throne of God and cry continuously: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:2). According to the angelic hierarchy described in the book of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite Celestial Hierarchy seraphim are the highest rank (seraphim, cherubim, thrones), closest to God.
They are also depicted on the key-stone of the arch of the eastern vault and on the soffit of the altar’s window.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Southern Lengthwise Nave. South View


“What shall we offer you, O Christ?” (Cathedral of Theotokos)

“What shall we offer you, O Christ?” (Cathedral of Theotokos)

An illustration of the Christmas sticheron written in the 8th century by Cosmas of Jerusalem: “What shall we offer you, O Christ, because you have appeared on earth as a man for our sakes? For each of the creatures made by you offers you its thanks: the Angels their hymn; the heavens the Star; the Shepherds their wonder; the Magi their gifts; the earth the Cave; the desert the Manger; but we a Virgin Mother. God before the ages, have mercy on us.” In accordance with the text it represents the Theotokos with the baby and “creatures” offering gifts to their Creator: singing angels, magi, shepherds, allegoric figures of the Earth and the Wilderness as well as singers headed by the saint hymnographers, authors of numerous chants in honour of the Theotokos, John Damascene and Cosmas of Jerusalem.

Vision of Christ in torn clothes by Peter of Alexandria

Vision of Christ in torn clothes by Peter of Alexandria

Peter, archbishop of Alexandria (300-311). Banished from Alexandria he returned there after his wanderings and secretly preached the word of God. He condemned the Arian heresy and cursed Arius. In 311, by the decree of the emperor Maximilian he was executed. Feast day: 25 November (7 December).
This composition that is thematically connected with the representation of the First Ecumenical council and illustrates the legend of enfant Christ appearing to Peter in torn clothes. To the question who torn his chasuble Christ answered that it was Arius and his heresy.

“Having shed the light of truth in Egypt…” (Akathist, Eikos 6)

“Having shed the light of truth in Egypt…” (Akathist, Eikos 6)

Flight into Egypt. King Herod without waiting for the magi to come back ordered to kill in Bethlehem all male babies under two. Warned by an angel, Joseph and Virgin Mary with the baby fled to Egypt and stayed there until Herod died. Tradition relates that as soon as the holy family entered Egypt all pagan idols collapsed.

“Wishing to save the world...” (Akathist. Kontakion 10)

“Wishing to save the world...” (Akathist. Kontakion 10)

Taking Jesus Christ to Calvary. The representation of Christ, humbly standing by the cross, emphasizes the voluntariness of his sacrifice redeeming the human race which corresponds to the text of the kontakion: the Saviour came to this world “of His own will”. To the right of the cross there is a horseman in the king’s crown pointing at Jesus. It can be the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate or the first Christian emperor Constantine the Great who saw a vision of the Cross, chose it as his Christian monogram, thus was saved and conquered the enemy.

“Orators most eloquent do we behold mute as fish before you...” (Akathist, Eikos 9)

“Orators most eloquent do we behold mute as fish before you...” (Akathist, Eikos 9)

Two “orators”, flanked on the sides of the enthroned Mother of God, marvel at the mystery of Immaculate Virgin Mary who conceived the incarnation of God. The impotence of ancient philosophers to grasp the mystery of the incarnation of God in a virgin is seen here.

“All angel-kind was amazed by the great deed...” (Akathist, Kontakion 9)

“All angel-kind was amazed by the great deed...” (Akathist, Kontakion 9)

Christ is sitting on the throne encircled by angels who marvel at the miraculous incarnation of “the inaccessible God” into “man accessible to all” who dwells among people.

The Third Ecumenical Council

The Third Ecumenical Council

(Ephesus) was convened in 431 under the emperor Theodosius II in Ephesus (Asia Minor) to deal with the controversy over Nestorianism. 200 bishops, including Cyril of Alexandria, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Memnon of Ephesus took part in it. The council denounced as erroneous the heresy of Nestorius who negated the Orthodox teaching on the double nature of Christ and refused to call Virgin Mary the Theotokos (Mother of God). Thus the council of Ephesus decreed that Jesus Chris was one person who had two natures: human and divine, and that Virgin Mary should be truly called the Theotokos.
In the foreground of the composition the defrocked patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius is divested of his priestly robes.

The First Ecumenical Council

The First Ecumenical Council

(Nicaea I) was convoked in 325 in Nicaea (Bythani) by the emperor Constantine the Great and chiefly concerned the teaching of Arius. 318 bishops, notably St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, Spyridon, bishop of Trimyphunteia, were present. The council condemned the Arian teaching that repudiated the divine nature of Jesus Christ and his equality with God Father. It also approved of the Creed where upon the emperor Constantine’s suggestion the term “of the same substance” was introduced. Finally the council promulgated twenty church laws called canons as well as separated the Easter from the Jewish Passover and fixed it on the first Sunday following the vernal equinox. Feast day: 29 May (11 June).
The emperor Constantine is depicted twice: as greeting the Council participants and chairing the Council.

The Second Ecumenical Council

The Second Ecumenical Council

(Constantinople) was convened by the emperor Theodosius in 381 to address the issue of the Macedonian heresy. 150 bishops including Gregory the Theologian took part in it. It confirmed the Nicene Creed by having expanded it in response to the heresy. Thus it was finally approved as the Necene Creed which is still used in the Orthodox Church. Feast day: 22 May (4 June).

Archangel Gabriel

Archangel Gabriel

A half-length representation of the archangel.
One of the seven archangels (Tobit 12:15) who understood the meaning of the vision of prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16) and revealed to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-20), to Virgin Mary – the birth of Jesus Christ the Saviour (Luke 1:26-38). In divine service he is characterized as “pre-existent wisdom enlightening the whole universe”. Feast: 26 March (8 April).

Martyr Cosmas

Martyr Cosmas

Silverless healer, brother of Damian. Feast day: 1(14) July, 17(30) October and 1(14) November).

Driving the Demon out of the Well

Driving the Demon out of the Well

One of the early miracles of the saint. This representation is paired with that of Nicholas driving the demon out of a tree that is being cut.

Apparition of St. Nicholas  to the Sleeping Emperor Constantine

Apparition of St. Nicholas to the Sleeping Emperor Constantine

Nicholas appeared to both the emperor and eparch Euvlavius simultaneously to save three slandered generals.

Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

(c.280-c.350) born in the city of Patara in Lycia (Asia Minor). In his youth, he was ordained deacon and at 28, presbyter and later, archbishop. During the persecution of Christians by Diocletian he was put to prison with other Christians. In 325 he took part in the I Ecumenical Council that was convened to condemn the Arian heresy. During his life he performed numerous miracles: saved the drowning in the sea, delivered from prison and captivity. He died peacefully at a very old age. His relics remained intact in the Cathedra Church of Myra in Lycia and exuded myrrh. Even after his death he continued to perform miracles. In 1087 the relics of St. Nicholas the Miracle-worker were abducted and transferred to Italian town Bari where they repose today. Feast day: 6 (19) December and 9 (22) May.

Saint Nicholas Saves Enfant Demetrius from Saint Nicholas Saves Enfant Demetrius from Drowning

Saint Nicholas Saves Enfant Demetrius from Saint Nicholas Saves Enfant Demetrius from Drowning

A posthumous miracle of the saint. Demetrius, a righteous citizen of Constantinople used to go to pray to St. Nicholas to the city of Anfirit. Once he went to sea in a small boat at night so that to be on time for the morning service. The storm overturned Demetrius’ light boat and the exhausted man started drowning still calling Nicholas for help. Then the saint appeared among the waves, offered his hand and pulled him out of the deep.

Miracle of the Carpet

Miracle of the Carpet

Posthumous miracle of St. Nicholas. In Myra one impoverished man took out his last possession, the carpet, to the market to sell in order to celebrate the memory of Saint Nicholas the Miracle-worker. The saint whom the man did not recognize bought the carpet and returned it to his wife without revealing his identity.

Transfer of Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra to Bari

Transfer of Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra to Bari

In the eighth century Asia Minor (including Myra where the venerated relics of Nicholas were kept) was conquered by Muslim Arabs. In 1087 Italian merchants abducted the remains of the saint and transferred them to Italy where they were buried in the city cathedral of Bari.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Southern Lengthwise Nave. North View


“The sons of the Chaldees saw in the hands of the Virgin Him...” (Akathist. Eikos 5)

“The sons of the Chaldees saw in the hands of the Virgin Him...” (Akathist. Eikos 5)

Adoration of the Magi. Following the star of Bethlehem the Magi brought to the infant Jesus some precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh which are the symbols of the royalty, divine nature and redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Persian elder Melchior, descendant of Shem, a middle-aged king of the Chaldees Balthasar, descendant of Japheth and a young Ethiopian Caspar, descendant of Ham worshiping the King of Jews symbolize all nations and tribes of the pagan world.

“You are a fortress protecting all virgins, O Theotokos and Virgin...” (Akathist, Eikos 10)

“You are a fortress protecting all virgins, O Theotokos and Virgin...” (Akathist, Eikos 10)

The Theotokos is represented against the fortress in the background as blessing the virgin nuns. The Mother of God who patronizes monastic virtue is likened to a fortress that protects and guards everyone, who follows Christ, from the temptation of the worldly life.

Martyr Damian

Martyr Damian

Silverless healer, brother of Cosmas, together they healed the sick in the name of Jesus without asking for fees. In the Orthodox tradition there are three pairs of saint healers with the names of Cosmas and Damian: Roman, Asian and Arabian. Feast day: 1(14) July, 17(30) October and 1(14) November.

Great Martyr Artemius

Great Martyr Artemius

(† 362), warrior, great martyr, one of the prominent military leaders during the reign of Constantine the Great (306-337) and later of his son and successor Constantine (337-361) who received a lot of awards for his courage and service; he was the governor of Egypt where he spread Christianity. Under the rule of Julian the Apostate in Antioch he was severely tortured and finally beheaded. Afterwards his relics were transferred to Constantinople. Feast day: 20 October (2 November).

Assumption of Saint Nicholas

Assumption of Saint Nicholas

Dying, St. Nicholas looked forward to ever-lasting life. After his death his body was placed in a cathedral where it exuded myrrh and his tomb witnessed many miraculous healings.

Apparition of Saint Nicholas to Sleeping Eparch Euvlavius

Apparition of Saint Nicholas to Sleeping Eparch Euvlavius

Three generals sent by the emperor Constantine to Phrygia witnessed Nicholas saving the three men who awaited their execution (see the wall-painting on the northern wall of the side-chapel). Later the generals were slandered. The saint saved them having appeared to both emperor Constantine and eparch Euvlavius simultaneously and called on them to let the falsely accused men free.

Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra

(c.280-c.350) born in the city of Patara in Lycia (Asia Minor). In his youth he was ordained deacon and at 28 - presbyter and later - archbishop. During the persecution of Christians by Diocletian he was put to prison with other Christians. In 325 he took part in the I Ecumenical Council that was convened to condemn the Arian heresy. During his life he performed numerous miracles: saved the drowning in the sea, delivered from prison and captivity. He died peacefully at a very old age. His remains remained intact in the Cathedra Church of Myra in Lycia and exuded myrrh. Even after his death he continued to perform miracles. In 1087 the relics of St. Nicholas the Miracle-worker were abducted and transferred to Italian town Bari where they repose today. Feast day: 6(19) December and 9(22) May.

Saint Nicholas Stops Execution

Saint Nicholas Stops Execution

Saving the three men, who were unjustly sentenced to death by a mercenary governor, from the execution. Having learnt about the forthcoming execution Nicholas came up to the executioner and tore the raised sword away. The governor blamed by St. Nicholas repented and begged for his forgiveness.

Apparition of Saint Nicholas to Prisoners

Apparition of Saint Nicholas to Prisoners

During Nicholas’s life a revolt took place in Great Phrygia. Hearing of it, the emperor Constantine sent three generals Nepotian, Ursus, and Herpylion with troops to restore order. On their way they saw the saint stop the unjust execution of three men and received his blessing. Having quickly suppressed the revolt the generals returned to the capital. They were slandered by jealous men who said that they had been scheming against the emperor. Constantine ordered to send them to prison and later upon a new slander sentenced them to death. The generals who remembered how St. Nicholas stopped the execution began praying to him asking for his help. After the apparition of the saint to the emperor and eparch, Nepotian, Ursus, and Herpylion were acquitted and freed from prison.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Western Crosswise Nave. West View


Angels with a Scroll (?). The Last Judgement

Angels with a Scroll (?). The Last Judgement

Doomsday symbolizes the end of the world: the sun and the moon shall darken, the stars shall fall from heaven (Matthew 24:29) while the heaven shall be rolled as a scroll together by angels (Revelation 6:12-14).
Apparently, the effigy of the scroll was lost in the 18th century.

Deesis. The Last Judgement

Deesis. The Last Judgement

In front of Jesus Christ, the Judge of the World (the representation was lost in the 18th century), who is surrounded by angels, are the Mother of God and John the Baptist, archangels Michael and Gabriel, and at his feet - the praying Adam and Eve, the first sinners of the human race who are saved by the blood of the crucified and resurrected Christ.
See the Deesis in the wall painting of the western portal, the Forefathers – on the neck of the drum.

Prophet Daniel’s Vision. The Last Judgement

Prophet Daniel’s Vision. The Last Judgement

Archangel Gabriel is told by God to reveal to the prophet Daniel the mystery of Doomsday.

Archangel Gabriel
One of the seven archangels (Tobit 12:15), who understood the vision of prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16) and revealed to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-20), to Virgin Mary – the birth of Jesus Christ the Saviour (Luke 1:26-38). In divine service he is characterized as “pre-existent wisdom enlightening the whole universe”. Feast: 26 March (8 April).

Prophet Daniel
(7th cent. BC) One of the four great prophets together with Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, interpreter of dreams and visions as well as divine revelation of the future of His world. The prophet’s life and visions were described in the Book of Daniel, the second part of which is dedicated to the apocalyptical visions of Daniel (Daniel 7:12). Its chapters prophesy the coming of Messiah (the Son of Man), introduce the idea of the Last Judgement and resurrection. Feast day: 17 (30) December.
He is also depicted in the wall painting of the altar arch.

Procession of the Righteous. The Last Judgement

Procession of the Righteous. The Last Judgement

To the right of the Judge and the throne, prepared for the second coming, there are the righteous, ranked according to their righteousness: prophets, priests, martyrs, saints.

The Prepared Throne. The Last Judgement

The Prepared Throne. The Last Judgement

Etimasia (in Greek ‘prepared throne’), the throne prepared for the second coming of Christ who will judge the living and the dead (Psalms 9:5-8). There is Christ’s shroud, the cross, the tools of the Passions and the open New Testament, the book of life (Revelation 5) on the throne. Under the throne there are righteous souls in the hands of God and the scales measuring human deeds: “But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them” (Book of Wisdom: 3:1)

Procession of Sinners. The Last Judgement

Procession of Sinners. The Last Judgement

To the left of the Judge and the prepared Throne are the sinners whose representation is based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (Matthew 25:31-46): “ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…"
The sinners are depicted as representatives of peoples of other than Christian confession.

Four Beasts from Daniel’s Visions. The Last Judgement

Four Beasts from Daniel’s Visions. The Last Judgement

The four beasts symbolize “the perishing kingdoms” from the Book of Daniel (7-8): Babylonian (the bear), Macedonian (the griffin), Roman (the lion), Antichrist (the “fourth beast, dreadful and terrible”). The vision of the four beasts proclaimed the change of the great kingdoms, appearing of the Antichrist and the end of the world.

Abraham’s Seed. The Last Judgement

Abraham’s Seed. The Last Judgement

Depiction of paradise where forefather Abraham with the souls of the righteous together with Isaac and Jacob sit. To the right is the wise thief, crucified together with Christ, who came to believe in Him. The composition represents Paradise as the place of rest of the righteous Abraham, Noah’s descendant and patriarch of the Jewish people, who God made a Covenant with, promising that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan (Genesis 12-13:15). He and his wife Sarah were endowed a vision of God in a form of three angels which served as the basis of the iconography of the Trinity. Abraham’s son Isaac is an Old Testament prototype of the Saviour: God, testing Abraham’s faith, commanded him to sacrifice a lamb, his son (Genesis 22:1-19). Jacob or Israel, patriarch, son of Isaac and Rebecca, grandson of Abraham, the ancestor of “the twelve tribes of Israel”, called after his sons. He was the younger twin brother and with the help of his mother he got his blind father’s blessing for the birthright. Fearing the revenge of his brother Esau, he withdrew to Mesopotamia where he married daughters of his uncle Laban, Rachel and Leah, by whom he had twelve sons and one daughter Dinah. Upon his return from Mesopotamia he lived in Palestina. When Jacob moved to his son Joseph to Egypt, they lived in the rich province of Goshen. The fate of “the twelve tribes of Israel” descending from his sons was prophesied by Jacob in his dying blessing to each of them. Jacob died at 147 and his body was transferred to the land of promise.

Theotokos in Paradise. The Last Judgement

Theotokos in Paradise. The Last Judgement

The enthroned Theotokos is flanked by archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Angels, Defeating Demons and A Fiery Stream. The Last Judgement

Angels, Defeating Demons and A Fiery Stream. The Last Judgement

The core of the composition is the depiction of the fiery stream (Daniel 7:10) typical of Byzantine and Old Russian representations of the Last Judgement and representations of “the snake of ordeals” that are found in the Russian Last Judgement scenes from the end of the 15th century. The feature of the Ferapontov fresco is the retained rings symbolizing ordeals and “ the snake” turned into a serpentine stream of blue colour, possibly symbolizing the clean river of “water of life’ flowing from the God’s throne and the Lamb in heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the righteous.

Land and Sea Give Back the Dead. The Last Judgement

Land and Sea Give Back the Dead. The Last Judgement

The scene is based on the writings of Ephrem the Syrian. Angels trumpet calling the living and dead to the Judgement. The Land and the Sea represented as allegorical figures give back the devoured bodies of people who rise from the dead in order to stand in front of the Judge.

Procession of the Righteous into Paradise. The Last Judgement

Procession of the Righteous into Paradise. The Last Judgement

Supreme apostles Peter (with the keys) and Paul who head the procession of the righteous are depicted in front of the Paradise gates guarded by Seraphim. There are prophets, apostles, priests, saints and martyrs on the sides of the gates.

Blazing Inferno. The Last Judgement

Blazing Inferno. The Last Judgement

Enflamed is Satan sitting on a two-headed monster encircled by souls of impenitent sinners with the soul of Judas on his lap.

Sinners’ Torments. The Last Judgement

Sinners’ Torments. The Last Judgement

Six circles that represent torments of sinners are accompanied with a list of sins: slander, adultery, covetousness, robbery etc.

Arius in Prison

Arius in Prison

Arius, presbyter from Alexandria, starting from 318 claimed that the Son of God was not eternal, did not exist prior to the incarnation and was not equal to God. In 325, the Nicaea council was convened to fight the widespread Arian heresy. After a long debate the Orthodox teaching that was expressed in the Nicene creed, where after the words “begotten of the Father” it said “not made, being of one substance with the Father”, triumphed. Arius was excommunicated and exiled to Illyricum but soon afterwards he was freed. In 336, on the eve of the day Arius was to receive communion, he died suddenly. Orthodox believers attributed his sudden death to divine justice, whereas the Arians alleged he was the victim of poisoning by his enemies. The depiction of Arius’s death is thematically linked with the composition of the First Ecumenical Council on the south wall.

The Fourth Ecumenical Council

The Fourth Ecumenical Council

(Chalcedon) was held in 451 during the reign of the emperor Markian in Chalcedon to repudiate the Eutychian doctrine of monophysitism which emerged as a reaction to the Nestorian heresy. 630 priests proclaimed “one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably”. Feast day: 16 (29) July.

“Seeing a strange childbirth...” (Akathist. Kontakion 8)

“Seeing a strange childbirth...” (Akathist. Kontakion 8)

The Theotokos Incarnation with monks praying to her.
The characteristic property of the composition is the gesture of the Mother of God pointing at the Infant incarnated to save the humanity. The depiction of monks praying to the Mother of God with the infant corresponds to the text of the kontakion urging to “estrange from the world by transporting our minds to Heaven” and to marvel at the mystery of the birth of Christ from a virgin.

Saint Zosimas with Holy Gifts. Holy Communion of Saint Mary of Egypt

Saint Zosimas with Holy Gifts. Holy Communion of Saint Mary of Egypt

Palestinian anchorite of the 6th century. In the wilderness close to the Jordan River he gave the sacraments of Holy Communion to Saint Mary of Egypt prior to her death and buried her with the assistance of a passing lion. Feast day: 4(17) April.

Saint Mary of Egypt. Holy Communion of Saint Mary of Egypt

Saint Mary of Egypt. Holy Communion of Saint Mary of Egypt

(† 522), saint. Tradition relates that in her youth she was a fornicatress; having joined the pilgrims crowd going to Jerusalem she found faith and lived in penance for 47 years in the wilderness near the Jordan River. Here she encountered Saint Zosima miraculously crossing the waters of the Jordan and received Holy Communion from him. Feast day: 1 (14) April.

The Fifth Ecumenical Council

The Fifth Ecumenical Council

(Second Council of Constantinople) was convoked in 553 under the emperor Justinian; 165 bishops took part in it. The Council anathematized the writings of three Nestorian bishops Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus, and Ibas of Edessa as well as the teaching of the church father Origen (3rd cent.) on the pre-existence of human souls and the heretics who denied the literal resurrection of physical bodies. Feast day: 25 July (7 August).

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Western Crosswise Nave. East View


“New was the Creation which the Creator showed to us...” (Akathist. Eikos 7)

“New was the Creation which the Creator showed to us...” (Akathist. Eikos 7)

Christ shows to the apostles the Gospel that contains the New Testament revelation about reforming the man (“creature” i.e. creation) for the eternal life.
The wall, this composition is painted on, has a doorway leading to a cache inside the vault.

“Having become God-bearing heralds, the Magi...” (Akathist, Kontakion 6)

“Having become God-bearing heralds, the Magi...” (Akathist, Kontakion 6)

Return of the Magi to Babylon.
Having worshipped the Son of God, the Magi were then warned in dreams that revealed Herod's intention to kill the newly born child, King of the Jews and decided to return home by a different route.

“ As a brilliant beacon-light shining to those in darkness...” (Akathist, Eikos 11)

“ As a brilliant beacon-light shining to those in darkness...” (Akathist, Eikos 11)

Representation of the Theotokos with a candle in her hands corresponds to the likening of Virgin Mary to a “beacon-light shining to those in darkness”, the people in the abyss as contained in Eikos 11. A brilliant light produced by the Mother of God is the incarnated Saviour whose birth was predicted by the prophets who flank the Theotokos.

“Defeated is every hymn...” (Akathist. Kontakion 11)

“Defeated is every hymn...” (Akathist. Kontakion 11)

Christ is depicted against the towers of the city wall with Metropolitans Peter and Alexius praying to him; below is the well surrounded by the sick. The composition stems from traditional representations of healing by the miraculous source near the Constantinople Monastery of Christ the Philanthropist in Mangan.

Great Martyr Andreios Stratelates

Great Martyr Andreios Stratelates

Roman military commander during the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). He received the title of Stratelates (in Greek ‘commander-general’) from the governor Antiochus. He preached Jesus Christ and won battles with his name. He and his soldiers were seized and tortured but the emperor did not dare to execute the celebrated commander. Set free, he together with his army took the baptism. He was told not to fear or to resist the coming death so Andrew and his soldiers were beheaded in the passes of Mount Tauros by the army, specially sent by the emperor. On the spot of the death of 2593 martyrs a spring appeared. Feast day: 19 (22) August.

Great Martyr Menas

Great Martyr Menas

Great martyr, Egyptian, a warrior during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian (284-305). For his confession of Christianity he was severely tortured and subsequently beheaded in 304. Feast day: 11 (24) November.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Eastern Crosswise Nave. East View


Protection of Mother of God (Intercession)

Protection of Mother of God (Intercession)

A representation of a miraculous apparition of the Theotokos at the Blachernae Palace Church in Constantinople in the mid 10th century. According to the hagiography of St. Andrew who saw and showed her to his disciple Epiphanius (on the right), during the all-night vigil the Mother of God took off her veil and spread it over all people praying in church as a protection from visible and invisible enemies. In the foreground to the left there is the celebrated Byzantine hymnographer St. Roman the Melodist with a scroll that contains words of the relevant kontakion “Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church and with choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and bishops worship, apostles and prophets rejoice together, since for our sake she prays to the pre-eternal God”.
The feast of the Intercession is celebrated on 1(14) October.

Mother of God on the Throne with Archangels Michael and Gabriel

Mother of God on the Throne with Archangels Michael and Gabriel

Festive frontal representation of Mother of God with the baby on the throne, traditional for the altar shell.

Liturgy of Church Fathers

Liturgy of Church Fathers

Symbolic representation of the Divine Liturgy thematically agrees with its location on the altar wall. There are eight priests who conduct the liturgy in front of the altar that is painted on the altar window. They all wear episcopal robes and hold scrolls with the texts of prayers that are a part of the liturgy.
The composition is supplemented with figures of priests on eastern pillars (Metropolitans Alexius and Peter, James, brother of Jesus) and in the northern altar apse (Leonty of Rostov).

Unknown Priest ( Apostle of the 70)

Unknown Priest ( Apostle of the 70)

A middle-aged man with a short beard dressed in a himation with a stole; he holds a scroll in his left hand.

Unknown Priest (Apostle out of the 70)

Unknown Priest (Apostle out of the 70)

Youth, in a himation with a stole (without crosses) with a scroll in his right hand.

Priest Leonty of Rostov

Priest Leonty of Rostov

(† 1070), the first bishop of Rostov (since 1054), a Greek from Constantinople, a monk of the Kiev-Pechersk Monastery. His relics were recovered on 23 May 1164.

Ordination of Saint Nicholas as Bishop

Ordination of Saint Nicholas as Bishop

After a pilgrimage to the holy sites in Jerusalem Nicholas wanted to withdraw to the wilderness but was told to go home to Lycia where he sought silent solitude. However, after the death of archbishop John he was appointed archbishop of Myra in Lycia as one of the bishops who took part in the election had a revelation instructing to appoint St. Nicholas.

Birth and Baptism of Saint Nicholas

Birth and Baptism of Saint Nicholas

Nicholas was born in Asia Minor to pious parents Theophanes and Nonna who vowed to dedicate his son to God. The nativity scene includes a representation of one of his miracles: the newly born Nicholas stood on his own for three hours in the font praising the Holy Trinity.

Saint Nicholas, Miracle-worker from Myra in Lycia

Saint Nicholas, Miracle-worker from Myra in Lycia

(c.280-c.350) born in the city of Patara in Lycia (Asia Minor). When a youth, he was ordained deacon and at 28 - presbyter and later - archbishop. During the persecution of Christians by Diocletian he was put to prison with other Christians. In 325 he took part in the I Ecumenical Council that was convened to condemn the Arian heresy. During his life he performed numerous miracles: saved the drowning in the sea, delivered from prison and captivity. He died peacefully at a very old age. His remains remained intact in the Cathedra church of Myra in Lycia and exuded myrrh. Even after his death he continued to perform miracles. In 1087 the relics of St. Nicholas the Miracle-worker were abducted and transferred to Italian town Bari where they are kept today. Feast day: 6(19) December and 9(22) May.

Apparition of Saint Nicholas to Prisoners

Apparition of Saint Nicholas to Prisoners

During Nicholas’s life a revolt took place in Great Phrygia. Hearing of it, the emperor Constantine sent three generals Nepotian, Ursus, and Herpylion with troops to restore order. On their way they saw the saint stop the unjust execution of the three men and received his blessing. Having quickly suppressed the revolt the generals returned to the capital. They were slandered by jealous men who said that they schemed against the emperor. Constantine ordered to send them to prison and later upon a new slander sentenced them to death. The generals who remembered how St. Nicholas stopped the execution began praying to him asking for his help. After the Apparition of the saint to the emperor and eparch, Nepotian, Ursus, and Herpylion were acquitted and freed from prison.

Saint Nicholas Saves Adolescent Demetrius from Drowning

Saint Nicholas Saves Adolescent Demetrius from Drowning

Posthumous miracle of the saint. Demetrius, a righteous citizen of Constantinople used to go to pray to St. Nicholas to the city of Anfirit. Once he went to sea in a small boat at night so that to be on time for the morning service. A storm overturned Demetrius’s light boat and the exhausted man started sinking still calling Nicholas for help. Then the saint appeared among the waves, offered his hand and pulled him out of the deep.

Museum of Frescoes / Section of Eastern Crosswise Nave. West View


Ordination of Saint Nicholas as Deacon

Ordination of Saint Nicholas as Deacon

Young Nicholas dressed in a surplice is blessed by a priest vested in a chasuble; a deacon with a censer is standing behind.

Metropolitan Alexius

Metropolitan Alexius

Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia, son of a Chernigov boyar Fyodor Byakont. He was born in Moscow at the end of the 13th century or the very beginning of the 14th century and was baptized with the name of Eleupherius. At the age of 20, he took the tonsure in the Moscow Epiphany Monastery. In 1352 he was ordained bishop of Vladimir and in 1354, after the death of metropolitan Theognostus, he was appointed metropolitan by Constantinople. He took an active part in the political life of Russia of the second half of the 14th century by supporting Muscovy grand princes in the fight with Lithuania and Tver and standing up for the unity of the Church. Alexei’s austere life gained him public esteem. He died on 12 February 1378, since the recovery of his relics in 1431 Alexius has been one of the most venerated Russian saints.

Museum of Frescoes / Medallions


The Northwestern Pillar, The Eastern Facet

The Northwestern Pillar, The Eastern Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf motif against a grey-black background.

The geometric pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the four foci on the circumference dividing it into four equal parts and a circumference of half the medallion diameter. The intersecting arcs form a flower with four broad leaves which are divided into two parts with the smaller circle. Inside the smaller circle are pink and yellow (ochre) “pyramids” with red (cinnabar) shading of the bases, outside – yellow (ochre) rectangles with ragged sides and light-brown shading at the base by the medallion circumference. In between are blue (lapis lazuli) trapezoid figures with wavy sides along the circumference of the medallion. In the centre the background, shaped by the contour of the “pyramids” into four “towers” with a rhombus at the top (near the focus of the medallion) and two peas on the sides and one pea under the base, shows through. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5-4 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground).

In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Condition: a strengthened vertical crack in the right side of the medallion, damaged white chalk ground and cracks in the upper part and also partly in the bottom half of the medallion. Nearly complete loss of pigments in the upper half of the medallion, partial loss in the bottom half. The two bottom yellow rectangles are well preserved. Complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 2002 (?)

The Northwestern Pillar, the Northern Facet

The Northwestern Pillar, the Northern Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf motif against a grey-black background. The geometric pattern of the ornament is built by circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the four foci on the circumference dividing it into four equal parts. The intersecting, arcs form a four-petal flower. The wide “petals” with wavy edges are of the same colour: the top left and the bottom right petals are emerald green, the rest are yellow ochre (with traces of red). In the centre of each “petal” along its length the background shows through and expands curving near the circumference of the medallion. Between the “petals” are equilateral yellow fan-shaped “leaves” with three rounded cavities through which the background is seen. The bases are shaded dark in the centre of the medallion. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light-green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: a strengthened vertical crack in the right part of the medallion; initial destruction of the white chalk ground all over the medallion, major loss of pigments of the ornament and cloth folds; the ochre is better preserved in the lower fan-leaf . Conservation: 1997, restorer O.V.Lelekova; 1998, restorer O.M.Revin.

The Northwestern Pillar, The Western Facet

The Northwestern Pillar, The Western Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey-black background. The geometrical pattern is built of a circumference of half the medallion diameter and arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on the outer circumference dividing it into 12 equal parts. The arcs connect the medallion circumference with the smaller circumference in a clockwise direction. In the smaller circle, the four arcs of the same diameter with the foci on its circumference, dividing it into four equal parts, form a “flower”. In the four “petals” there are yellow (ochre) “pyramids” with concave bases. In between there are fan-shaped “leaves” of the same colour with wavy edges facing the circumference. All the elements have traces of red (?) shading at the bases. Around the central circle are twelve fan-shaped “leaves” with a wavy edge orientated in an anticlockwise direction and a “pea” in the middle of the opposite side. The four bottom “leaves” are greenish-blue (?), the rest are blue (azurite). All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: a partially strengthened vertical crack (2.5 cm) in the right and left halves of the medallion, strengthened loss of the white chalk ground (the eighth part of the wide border), complete loss of pigments in the central circle, considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2000.

The Northwestern Pillar, the Southern Facet

The Northwestern Pillar, the Southern Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf motif against a grey-black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on the circumference dividing it into six equal parts and arcs in between. The intersecting arcs form a six-petal flower inscribed in a hexagon with concave sides. The sharp-pointed “petals” are divided into halves by curved diagonal lines with “small leaves” in each half. The outside edges of the “small leaves” are wavy. A combination of yellow (ochre) with dark shading and blue (azurite) “leaves” is used in the top three “petals” and the right bottom one: blue for the outside part in the top left and bottom right “leaves” and vice versa in the other two. The two bottom petals to the left are filled with blue (near the centre) and green (to the outside) “leaves”. Small teardrop-shaped cavities in the “leaves” at the centre of the “flower” show the background: in the top left “petals” they touch each other as the curved line changes its direction from left to right. Between the “leaves” in the hexagon there are “flowers” with a wide rounded centre and three narrow “petals” diverging into the corners. The top left and right “flowers” are green (glauconite) with dark points in the centre and oblong strokes in the “petals”. The left and the right top and bottom “flowers” are pinkish yellow with red (cinnabar) points and strokes. The bottom left “flower” is yellow with dark points and strokes. Between the vertices of the hexagon there are spreading «leaves” with cavities in the middle of the base near the border and wavy edges. The left and bottom right leaves are yellow, the right is pinkish (?), the top right and bottom left are blue with dark shading. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of the compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: several open and strengthened thin vertical cracks in the right third of the medallion. Partial loss of colour in the ornament, considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2000, restorer I.N.Fedyshin.

The Southwestern Pillar, the Northern Facet

The Southwestern Pillar, the Northern Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey background. The geometrical pattern is built of four circumferences of half the medallion diameter symmetrically positioned around the centre on the axes perpendicular to one another. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” in the centre. Each of the four “petals” has an inscribed yellow (ochre) “leaf” with one wavy edge: in the top petals it is the left edge; in the bottom petals it is the outside edge. The shading of the bases is brown (near the centre of the medallion). In the centre of the “flower” there are tiny bluish-grey “petals” of the background colour and different size corresponding to the cavities at the base of the “leaves”. The contours of the circles outside the “petals” are wavy with “peas” of the background in the centre. The circles retain traces of pink pigment with red (ochre) shading in the centre of the medallion. Outside the circumferences there are broad yellow (ochre) “leaves” with wavy edges facing the border of the medallion. The outline of the “leaves” at the base and their shading are brown. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. In the upper part of the ornament there is a niche. Condition: loss of the white outline in the upper left quarter of the medallion (22x13 cm). Complete loss of pigments in the central circles, considerable loss of the two upper broad leaves and cloth folds. Conservation: 1998, restorer O.V. Lelekova.

The Southwestern Pillar, the Western Facet

The Southwestern Pillar, the Western Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of four circumferences of half the medallion diameter symmetrically positioned around the centre on the axes perpendicular to each other and a smaller circumference in the centre of the medallion. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four narrow “petals” in the centre of the medallion while the smaller circumference divides the segments between the “petals” into two parts. A “small leaf” (traces of pink ochre) with wavy edges and three red (ochre) strokes in the centre” is inscribed in each “petal”. In between the “small leaves” there are blue (azurite) equilateral fan-shaped “leaves” with wavy edges and a semicircle in the middle of the edge. The outside halves of the four circumferences contain twin ochre “leaves” with wavy edges facing the circumference and brown shading. On the outside of the circumferences, along the border of the medallion there are mirror images of narrow fan-shaped blue “flowers” with wavy edges facing each other. The bases of the blue elements have dark thin traces of shading. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks all over the medallion. Pigments are well preserved except for the losses of shading on the blue elements and pink ochre on the central petals. The surface of the ornament has dark runs of paint. Conservation: 1998, restorer E.M. Christie.

The Southwestern Pillar, the Southern Facet

The Southwestern Pillar, the Southern Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the four foci on the medallion circumference that divide it into four equal parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” which are divided diagonally. Narrow “leaves” are inscribed into one of the two parts of the “petals” (in the outside part at the top and in the inside part at the bottom), in the other parts of the “petals” are fan-shaped “leaves’ with one wavy edge facing upwards. The narrow and fan-shaped “leaves” are painted yellow (ochre) and blue (azurite): in the left “petals” the narrow “leaves” are yellow and the fan-shaped “leaves” are blue whereas in the bottom right, vice versa, the upper right is hard to discern. The yellow “leaves” are shaded with brown: the narrow ones – near the centre of the medallion, the fan-shaped ones – near the circumference. Between the “petals” are four “pyramids” with two “peas” of the background that shows through at the base and shading in a form of a herring bone. The right “pyramid” retains the traces of yellow ochre with brown shading while on the other the pigment has not survived. The bottom and left “pyramids” retain red (cinnabar) shading. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin surface cracks in the upper half of the medallion. Nearly complete loss of pigments on the elements of the ornament apart from ochre in the two bottom “petals”. Considerable losses of the cloth folds. Conservation: 1998, restorer E.M.Christie.

The Southwestern Pillar, the Eastern Facet

The Southwestern Pillar, the Eastern Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the four foci on the circumference dividing it into four parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” in the centre of which in each “petal” there are small grayish-blue (background) “petals” in a form of an eye with a white hole. In the broad “petals” along the long sides there are “leaves” with ragged edges facing each other. The colour is preserved only in the bottom “leaves”: red (ochre) on the left sides of the “leaves”, yellow (ochre) on the right sides of the left “petal” and blue (azurite) in the right one; the shading (in the centre of the medallion) is dark of a matching tone, and cinnabar on the red elements. In between there are small “pyramids” alternating with “leaves” in colour: left – blue, right – yellow. Between the broad “petals” are twin “leaves” with a ragged edge; one of the “small leaves” along the “petal” (top left and bottom left – blue; bottom right – yellow); the second “leaves” along the circumference of the medallion (bottom and left – yellow). All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: damaged white chalk ground and complete loss of colour in the elements in the upper half of the ornament and the cloth folds. Conservation: 1998, restorer E.M.Christie.

The Western Wall, the Fourth to the South of the Gates

The Western Wall, the Fourth to the South of the Gates

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the four foci on the circumference that divide it into four parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” where large “pyramids” with embedded “peas” of the background are inscribed. The bottom left and the top right “pyramids” are yellow (ochre) with brown shading at the base. The bottom right “pyramid” retains traces of red shading. Between the “petals” only outlines of the background with three embedded “peas” near the circumference and traces of azurite are preserved. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: destruction of the white chalk ground in the bottom left quarter of the medallion, strengthened cracks of the left part of the border; at the bottom there is strengthened loss of the white chalk ground (7.5x4 cm). Nearly complete loss of pigments in the top left and bottom right “petals” between all the “petals” and on the cloth folds. Conservation: 2000, restorer I.N.Fedyshin.

The Southern Wall, the Fourth to the West of the Doors

The Southern Wall, the Fourth to the West of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of a circumference of a smaller than the medallion diameter with the focus in its centre. In the central circle there are two fan-shaped “flowers” opposite each other with wavy edges facing the circumference and traces of ochre and dark shading at the bases. Between the “flowers”, there is a white chalk ground with wavy edges of the background colour along the circumference. Between the small and large circumferences, traces of the background around the lost elements in a form of large uniformly recurring curves of one unbroken line are preserved. Between the wide (3-3.5 cm) and thin borders of the medallion there is a white chalk ground. The fold of a cloth conceals the right part of the medallion. In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. The light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. There are two short thin grooves in the upper left border of the medallion. Condition: Strengthened small losses and destruction of the white chalk ground all over the surface of the medallion. In the upper left quarter on the border there is a deep horizontal crack (5 cm). Nearly complete loss of all pigments in the ornament elements and cloth folds. Conservation: 1995 (?)

The Western Wall, the First to the North of the Door

The Western Wall, the First to the North of the Door

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of a circumference of half the medallion diameter and four circumferences with the foci on the smaller circumference and the medallion border dividing it into four equal parts and additional arcs between them. In the smaller circle there is a “flower” with four broad “petals” with a slash with wavy edges that end with “peas” through which the background shows through in the middle. The opposite “petals” are painted the same colour: the bottom left and top right “petals” are yellow (ochre), the other are green (glauconite). Between the “petals” are fan-shaped equilateral yellow “leaves” with wavy edges, facing the circumference, and brown shading at the base. Between the small circumference and the medallion border in the segments under the additional arcs there are four spreading fan-shaped “flowers” with wavy edges and embedded background “peas” at the base by the medallion border. All of them retain traces of green pigment. In between there are triple fan-shaped ochre “leaves” with brown shading at the base and wavy edges facing different directions: the middle one faces the medallion border, the side ones face each other. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3-3.3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion, on the small circumference and the medallion border there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: thin strengthened cracks in the bottom half of the medallion, initial destruction of the white chalk ground all over the surface. Considerable loss of pigments in the ornament and cloth folds except for the ochre in the bottom half and the top fan-shaped “flower”. Complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 2000, restorer E.M.Christie.

The Western Wall, the Second to the North of the Doors

The Western Wall, the Second to the North of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of three circumferences of the medallion diameter with the foci on the circumference dividing it into three parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with three “petals” (the bottom right petal is slightly asymmetrical in relation to the left one), between which there are three small circles. The “petals” have wavy edges and the bottom one retains traces of green (glauconite) pigment. In the small circles are “flowers” with wavy edges and embedded “peas” at the base of the medallion. The bottom and top left flowers retain traces of pink ochre and red shading on the latter. In between there are fan-shaped ochre “flowers” with wavy edges facing each other through the leaf and dark shading at the base. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3-3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion as well as on its circumference and in the centres of the small rounded flowers (several) there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: thin cracks all over the surface of the medallion. Complete loss of colour in the round “flowers” and the top “petal”; the bottom ones retain traces of colour. Complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 2000, restorer E.M.Christie.

The Northern Wall, the Fourth to the West of the Doors

The Northern Wall, the Fourth to the West of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into twelve equal parts in a clockwise direction. Between the arcs from the centre of the medallion to its circumference are twelve fan-shaped “leaves” with one long and one short concave sides and wavy edges orientated in an anticlockwise direction. All the “leaves” are yellow (ochre) with dark shading at the base by the medallion border. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3-3.3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: destruction of the white chalk ground in the bottom half of the medallion; partial loss of ochre; more considerable losses in the upper half of the medallion; nearly complete loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 1999, restorer O.V. Lelekova and E.M. Christie.

The Western Wall, the Fourth to the North of the Doors

The Western Wall, the Fourth to the North of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the medallion is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six equal parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with six narrow oval “petals” into which “leaves” with wavy edges are inscribed; the opposite “leaves” are of the same colour: the top left and bottom right are yellow (ochre), the side ones are blue (azurite, traces), the bottom left and top right are pink (ochre, traces). There are three oval brown strokes in the centre of the yellow ones: the bottom left one retains traces of red ochre, the rest have traces. The lines from the oval “leaves” to the centres of the arc on the medallion circumference form irregular rhombuses that contain “leaves” with wavy edges facing the circumference, the opposite leaves are of the same colour alternating with the colour of the adjacent “petals”: the bottom left and top right are yellow with dark shading at the bases; the top left and the bottom right are pink with traces of red shading on the bottom one; the top and bottom rhombuses are blue (azurite, traces). Between the medallion circumference and the “petals” are small fan-shaped “flowers” with wavy edges facing the medallion border. The colour can be discerned only in the bottom ones: the left “flower” is yellow with dark shading , the right “flower” retains traces of azurite; apparently, the colours alternated with the adjacent ones. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: a strengthened crack (up to 6 cm wide) on the left part of the medallion and loss of the white chalk ground (4x2.5 and 13x3 cm) in the bottom half. Nearly complete loss of azurite and pink ochre on the ornament elements. The yellow “petals” at the bottom to the sides and the two small “flowers” at the top and the bottom are better preserved; complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 1999, restorer O.V. Lelekova and E.M. Christie.

The Southern Altar Wall, the First from the Window

The Southern Altar Wall, the First from the Window

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four equal parts and a circumference of a smaller diameter with the focus in the centre of the medallion. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” which four broad “petals” are halved. The outer parts of the “petals” are diagonally divided with the inscribed twin fan-shaped “leaves”: those by the circumference are yellow, the internal ones are green (glauconite). The wavy edges of the right and bottom left “leaves” face the yellow ones; that of the top left “leaf” faces upwards. The bases are shadowed with dark strokes. Between the “petals” are large green (glauconite) fan-shaped equilateral “flowers” with dark shading at the bases by the centre of the medallion and wavy edges with a semi-circle in the middle. Traces of the borders of the medallion: the wide one (4 cm) with two thin ones and the white chalk ground in between. In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. There is a niche above the medallion. Condition: thin surface cracks all over the medallion. Complete loss of the background and ornament elements inside the small circle. Considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2005, restorer E.M. Christie.

The Southern Altar Wall, the Second from the Window

The Southern Altar Wall, the Second from the Window

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of the circumferences of the medallion diameter with the foci on the medallion circumference diving it into four equal parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” into one side of which narrow light green (glauconite) “leaves” with wavy edges and five dark strokes in the middle are inscribed. Between the “petals” are yellow (ochre) fan-shaped “flowers” with the centres displaced to the side of the narrow “petals” and wavy edges facing the medallion border as well as buried ovals of a scroll shape and dark strokes at the bases. The narrow medallion border is light brown while the inner border just retains traces. In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: Thin cracks all over the medallion including the wide strengthened crack in the bottom half; complete loss of pigments in the background and ornament elements in the broad “petals” next to the “leaves”; partial loss in the other elements and the cloth folds. Conservation: 2005.

The Northern Side of the Central Altar Apse

The Northern Side of the Central Altar Apse

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into three equal parts and a circumference of a smaller diameter with the focus in the centre of the medallion. The intersecting arcs form three “petals” divided into two parts: in the inner parts there are yellow (ochre) pyramids which vertices coincide with the centre of the medallion and dark strokes at the base of each “step”. The green (glauconite) “pyramids” have different shading methods: the two at the top have strokes coming form one and the same point, the left at the bottom with strokes in each “step”. In between as well as in outer parts of the “petals” there are traces of pink pigments and cinnabar strokes. Between the outer parts of the “petals” are pairs of fan-shaped “flowers”: yellow and green, except for the two single “flowers” on the left: at the top next to the niche it is green, while the bottom one is yellow. The “flowers” have wavy edges orientated in an anticlockwise direction and dark shading at the bases. Traces of borders of the medallion: the wide (4 cm) border between the two thin ones with the white chalk ground in between. In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. In the upper part of the medallion there is a niche. Condition: thin cracks all over the medallion; complete loss of the background and pigments in the outer parts of the “petals” and between the inner parts of the “petals” near the centre; considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation 2001, restorer N.G. Bregman.

The Northeastern Pillar, the Eastern Side

The Northeastern Pillar, the Eastern Side

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of a circumference of a smaller than the medallion diameter with the focus in the centre of the latter and 14 small circumferences uniformly inscribed between them. In the centre of the medallion there is a wide green (glauconite) stain with uneven edges with double thin light-green (background) borders. The 14 small circumferences are partially painted with alternating yellow (ochre) and red (cinnabar) pigments with darker centres. Traces of the medallion borders: the wide one (3-3.3 cm) between the two thin ones and the white chalk ground in between. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. A thin groove following the outline of the small circles except for the top rights and two bottom right where the scratch does not coincide with the pattern; in the two bottom left circles there are repeated scratched lines. There is a niche in the upper left part of the medallion. Condition: thin cracks and mechanical damage all over the medallion; pigments in the ornament and the border are nearly completely lost except for some traces of glauconite in the centre and cinnabar in the two top “circles” and ochre. Conservation: 2000, restorer O.M.Revin.

The Southern Altar Apse Wall, the Fourth from the Window

The Southern Altar Apse Wall, the Fourth from the Window

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of a circumference of a smaller than the medallion diameter and the focus in its centre and eleven circular arcs orientated in a clockwise direction between them. Between the light green (background) arcs in unequal sectors there are fan-shaped “flowers” with wavy edges orientated in an anticlockwise direction. In the upper and bottom right quarters of the medallion the “flowers” are painted in pairs green (glauconite) and yellow (ochre); while in the bottom left sector there is a single yellow “flower”; all the bases have dark shading strokes. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (4-4.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: destructed white chalk ground in the bottom half of the medallion; complete loss of pigments in the central circle and four fan-shaped “flowers”; partial loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2001, restorer O.M.Revin.

The Southern Altar Apse Wall, the Third from the Window

The Southern Altar Apse Wall, the Third from the Window

In the medallion (60 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey-black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of five small circumferences of a third of the medallion diameter: one- in the centre; the rest on the sides on perpendicular axes. The central circle is yellow (ochre) with a dark core. In the other there are round “flowers” with wavy edges and “peas” of the background at the centre of the medallion; all of them retain traces of pink and yellow pigments. Between the circles are green (glauconite) trapezoid “leaves” with wavy edges facing the medallion border, dark shading and semicircles around the background “peas” at the bases. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of all the circumferences there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: damaged white chalk ground in the bottom third of the medallion, mechanical damage; complete loss of pigments in the four circles, considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2003, restorer O.M. Revin.

The Northern Altar Apse Wall, the Third from the Window

The Northern Altar Apse Wall, the Third from the Window

In the medallion (60 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a gray-black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four equal parts. The intersecting background arcs form a “flower» with four broad “petals”; the diagonal pairs are of the same colour: the bottom left and the top right are yellow (ochre) while the bottom right and the top left are green (glauconite). In the middle of each “petal” the background in a form of unbroken alternate ovals and circles shows through. Between the “petals” are fan-shaped “leaves”: the top one is yellow, the right and bottom ones are green, with dark shading at the bases. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (2.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: mechanical damage of the white chalk ground; complete loss of pigments in the bottom right “petal” and fan-shaped “leaf” on the left. Conservation: 2003, restorer I.N.Fedyshin.

The Northern Altar Apse Wall, the Fourth from the Window

The Northern Altar Apse Wall, the Fourth from the Window

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of five concentric circles and circular arcs of the internal circle diameter with the foci on the circumference dividing it into six equal parts. The intersecting light grey arcs form a six-petal “flower” in the centre with slightly displaced “petals” in relation to the central vertical. In them, there are “leaves” with a wavy edge facing upwards in the left half of the medallion and downwards in the right half. Diagonally opposite pairs are of the same colour: the top left and the bottom right are green (glauconite), the rest are yellow (ochre) with a dark shading along the straight edge by the circumference. Between the “petals” at the top and bottom there are twin fan-shaped “flowers” with deep wavy edges orientated in a clockwise direction. The colour solution: opposite to that of the “petals” with dark shading at the bases near the centre of the medallion. The wide (2.5-3 cm) border of the internal circle is green edged with a dark inner border (1cm). All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (4.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin open and strengthened cracks in the left half of the medallion and at the top, damaged white chalk ground in the bottom third; complete loss of pigments in the vertical “leaves” and side “flowers”; considerable loss of the background, partial loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2001, restorer I.N.Fedyshin.

The Southeastern Pillar, the Northern Facet

The Southeastern Pillar, the Northern Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six equal parts and a circumference of a smaller diameter with the focus in the centre of the medallion. The intersecting light grey (background) arcs form a “flower” with six “petals” in the inner parts of which there are fan-shaped “flowers” with curved (clockwise) sides and wavy edges facing the circumference. The opposite pairs are painted the same colour: the top and bottom ones are yellow (ochre), the top left and bottom right are green (glauconite). Along the circumference of the medallion, opposite the missing “flowers” there are pairs of large elongated “leaves” of yellow and green colours with one wavy side (facing the circumference) orientated in an anticlockwise direction. The shading of the bases of the “flowers” and “leaves” are in dark matching tones. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: damaged white chalk ground in the upper right quarter of the medallion, mechanical damage; complete loss of pigments in the two fan-shaped “flowers”, two “leaves” and background. Conservation: 1995 (?).

The Northeastern Pillar, the Southern Facet

The Northeastern Pillar, the Southern Facet

In the medallion (74 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four equal parts. The intersecting arcs form four broad “petals” which contain “leaves” with one long and one short (along the circumference) sides and a wavy edge orientated in a clockwise direction. The bottom “leaves” are yellow (ochre), the top right is green (glauconite) with dark shading at the base by the circumference. Between the “petals” there are equilateral fan-shaped “flowers” with edges in a form of unbroken semicircles: the left one is green (glauconite), the top one is yellow (ochre) with the dark shading at the bases in the centre of the medallion. The top “leaf” and right “flower” retain dot traces of cinnabar. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (4 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. In the upper right part of the medallion there is a niche. Condition: damaged white chalk ground in the upper right quarter of the medallion, mechanical damage; complete loss of pigments in the two fan-shaped “flowers”, one “leaf” and the background; partial loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2000.

The Southern Wall, the Third to the West of the Doors

The Southern Wall, the Third to the West of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four equal parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” that are halved into two parts. In the inner parts there are small yellow (ochre) “pyramids” with brown shading of semicircular bases. The outer halves of the bottom “petals” are divided into three parts with the outlines of the background in a form of a wavy line and scrolls with “peas” at the ends. In all the elements between the background there are traces of cinnabar. Between the “petals” there is a blue (traces of azurite) “pyramid” with a wavy side facing the circumference outlined by the preserved edges of the background. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: thin cracks and damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion; complete loss of pigments in the upper half of the medallion and in the elements in the outer parts of the “petals” and in between as well as the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 1995 (?)

The Western Wall, Third to the North of the Doors

The Western Wall, Third to the North of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of a circumference of a smaller than the medallion diameter with the focus in its centre and arcs between the points on the circumference of the medallion that divide it into six equal parts. In the small circle, there is a round “flower” (with traces of pink pigment) with wavy edges between four embedded “peas” of the background (the central vertical line tilted to the left). The arcs form a shape similar to a six-pointed “star” outside which there are spreading «flowers” by the medallion circumference with wavy edges and a “pea” of the background in the middle (not directly opposite the “peas” of the central “flower”) and indented bases. The bottom left “flower” is yellow (ochre) with brown shading of the base, the bottom “flower” retains traces of a green (?) pigment while the top one retains traces of blue (azurite) and the bottom right one – red shading (ochre). In the comers of the “star” by the central circle there are six small trefoils with a round middle by the central circle and “petals” facing different directions. The bottom right trefoil is yellow (ochre) with brown strokes in the centre and “petals”; the bottom left trefoil retains yellowish traces and pink shading. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3-3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its outer border there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: damaged white chalk ground; strengthened diagonal cracks on the medallion; complete loss of pigments in the upper half of the medallion; considerable loss in the lower half, well-preserved ochre on the spreading and trefoil “flowers” at the bottom; complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 2000, restorer E.M.Christie.

The Southern Wall, the Third to the East of the Doors (under the window)

The Southern Wall, the Third to the East of the Doors (under the window)

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four equal parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” that are divided lengthwise by curved lines going from the centre of the medallion to one of the edges (on the left – to the lower edge, on the right - to the upper edge). In the narrow parts there are inscribed “leaves” with a wavy side orientated in a clockwise direction. In the wide parts there are fan-shaped “leaves” with one long and one short (by the circumference) sides and wavy edges orientated in a clockwise direction. Both “leaves” of the opposite “petals” are painted the same colour: the top left (darkened pigment with dark shading along the straight edge from the base by the circumference) and bottom right one retain traces of a green pigment, the rest – traces of a pink pigment with ingrained cinnabar. Between the “petals” are yellow (ochre) fan-shaped “flowers” with wavy edges by the circumference and shading at the base, the colours on the left one are considerably darker. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (4.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: damaged white chalk ground and diagonal cracks all over the medallion; nearly complete loss of pigments in the “petals”; considerable loss on the cloth folds. In the upper left quarter of the medallion the pigments have darkened as a result of exposure to high temperature (?). Conservation: 2004 (?), restorer O.V.Lelekova

The Southern Wall, the Second to the East of the Doors

The Southern Wall, the Second to the East of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light-grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into twelve parts. The unequal segments formed by the arcs contain twelve fan-shaped “leaves’ with one long and one short concave (facing the circumference) sides twisted clockwise. The “leaves” are painted in alternate green (glauconite), yellow (ochre) and pink (dot traces of cinnabar) with dark shading of the bases orientated in an anticlockwise direction. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5-4 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks and damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion, deep mechanical damage; nearly complete loss of pigments in the ornament except for the four “leaves” in the lower half of the medallion; considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2005, restorer E.M.Christie.

The Southern Wall, the First to the East of the Doors

The Southern Wall, the First to the East of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey background. The central circle of the medallion is divided into equal quarters by perpendicular diameter lines. There is a “flower” inscribed in each quarter with a wavy edge along the circumference. Inside the “flower”, from the centre of the medallion outwards, there branch off, curling in different directions, veins of the background with wavy edges and “peas” at the ends. On all the “flowers’ there are scattered traces of light ochre with brown pigments and cinnabar. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.2-4 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. A thin groove on the upper edge of the bottom left flower and a short fragment of a line a little below, along the medallion circumference. Condition: in the upper right quarter four strengthened losses of the white chalk ground (from 2.5x1.5 to 4x3 cm) with a wrought nail in one of them; nearly complete loss of all pigments including the cloth folds. No conservation work has been carried out.

The Southern Wall, the First to the West of the Doors

The Southern Wall, the First to the West of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of four circumstances of half the medallion diameter symmetrically positioned around its centre on perpendicular axes and a circumference of a smaller diameter with the focus in the centre of the medallion. In the centre of the medallion the intersecting light grey arcs form a “flower” with four narrow “petals” into which small yellow (ochre) “leaves” with a wavy edge (in the right half of the medallion facing upwards; in the left half – facing each other) are inscribed. The shading of the bases is brown. The curved bases of the “leaves” at the centre of the medallion a small background “flower” with two contacting “petals” on the left. In the inner and outer parts of the four circumferences there are separate elements with wavy outlines of the background; in the inner parts (with “peas” in the middle there are traces of blue pigments (azurite) on the side and bottom elements whereas in the outer parts there are traces of cinnabar. Outside the four circumferences are fan-shaped “flowers” with wavy edges, facing the medallion border. The bottom left one is yellow (ochre) with a shading by two brown strokes coming out of the oval stroke in the middle; the opposite “flower” retains traces of ochre while the bottom right has traces of azurite. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and four circumferences there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion; nearly complete loss of pigments except for ochre in the fan-shaped “flowers” and “leaves”; considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 1995 (?)

The Southern Wall, the Second to the West of the Doors

The Southern Wall, the Second to the West of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference. The ornament in the upper half of the medallion is almost indiscernible: three broad “petals” touching the medallion circumference and divided inside into different elements with slashes of the background with wavy outlines, three large “volutes” and “peas” at the ends. The ornament elements in the bottom half of the medallion retain traces of blue (azurite) and red (cinnabar in shading) pigments. In between the broad “petals” by the medallion circumference are three yellow (ochre) fan-shaped spreading “flowers” with wavy edges facing the circumference and light brown shading of the bases. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion, strengthened loss of the white chalk ground (9x6 cm) in the bottom half; complete loss of pigments in the ornament, partially preserved background and ochre in the fan-shaped “flowers”. Complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the ornament. Conservation: 1995 (?)

The Western Wall, the First to the South of the Gates

The Western Wall, the First to the South of the Gates

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of four circumferences of half the medallion diameter symmetrically positioned around its centre on perpendicular axes and a circumference of a smaller diameter with the focus in the centre of the medallion. The intersecting light grey arcs in the centre of the medallion form a “flower” with four narrow “petals” which contain “leaves” with one long and the other short concave sides and a wavy edge ( in the bottom ones they face each other; the bases of all leaves face downwards). The bottom left “leaf” is yellow (ochre) with a brown shading of the base, in the bottom right and top left “leaves” there are traces of blue (azurite). In the inner and outer parts of the four circumferences are spreading “flowers” with wavy edges facing each other: near the centre of the medallion they are fan-shaped with traces of red (ochre) shading in the bottom and left ones; along the medallion circumference there are twin “leaves” surrounding the “pea” with traces of azurite. Outside the four circumferences there are fan-shaped “flowers” with one short and the other long (facing the medallion circumference) sides and ragged edges twisted clockwise with shading in brown strokes. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on the four circumferences there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion; strengthened losses in the upper left quarter; complete loss of pigments in most elements of the ornament and cloth folds crossing the medallion on the sides; better preserved ochre in the three “leaves” at the bottom. Conservation: 2000, restorer I.N.Fedyshin.

The Western Wall, the Second to the South of the Gates

The Western Wall, the Second to the South of the Gates

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six equal parts and arcs between them. The intersecting light grey arcs form a hexagon with concave sides each segment of which contains an equilateral fan-shaped “leaf” with deeply ragged edge oriented in an anticlockwise direction. Presumably, the “leaves” were painted in alternate yellow (ochre), blue (azurite) and pink (ochre): the bottom left is yellow, the opposite retains traces of ochre, both with brown shading of the bases; the bottom right with traces of azurite, the side right with traces of pink ochre and cinnabar. By the circumference there are spreading “flowers” with curved bases and wavy edges facing the centre of the medallion that are painted in the same colours, alternating with the colours of the adjacent “leaves”: the side ones are yellow with brown shading, the bottom left and top right retain traces of blue (azurite) and darker shading, the bottom right has traces of red ochre in the shading. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion, strengthened in the bottom third; a strengthened crack in the left half of the medallion; complete loss of pigments on some elements of the ornament at the top and on the left; the bottom left fan-shaped “leaf” is better preserved. Conservation: 2000, restorer I.N.Fedyshin.

The Western Wall, the Third to the South of the Gates

The Western Wall, the Third to the South of the Gates

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four parts. The intersecting light grey arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” divided into three parts with additional arcs drawn from the corners of the “petals” toward small rounded “petals” in the centre. In the small “petals” there are twisted “leaves” with one wavy edge (the bottom ones face each other; the left retains traces of cinnabar while the right one has a trace of azurite). Along the long sides of the broad “petals” are “leaves” with ragged edges facing each other. The bottom “leaves’ on the sides (ochre, in the right one – just traces) with brown shading at the bases near the centre of the medallion, the inner ones retain traces of pigments: the left one has traces of blue (azurite), the right one has traces of right (ochre). In the “petals” between the “leaves” there are, presumably, judging from the form of the segments, three-petal “flowers” with a big round middle. Between the broad “petals”, arcs are drawn from the corner of one petal to the middle of the side of the adjacent “petal” on both sides of which there are fan-shaped “flowers” with wavy edges facing different directions: the inner ones face the circumference, the outer ones are orientated in an anticlockwise direction. The inner vertical “flowers” are yellow with brown shading; to the right: traces of cinnabar; in the outer ones there are traces and remnants of azurite. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground).. In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion, strengthened at the bottom; thin cracks in the left and bottom parts; nearly complete loss of pigments in the upper half of the medallion; considerable loss in the lower half; complete loss of the cloth folds. Conservation 2000, restorer I.N.Fedyshin.

The Northern Wall, the Third to the West of the Doors

The Northern Wall, the Third to the West of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six equal parts; the arcs from the centre of the medallion to its circumference are orientated in a clockwise direction. Each segment is halved with arcs drawn from the circumference of the medallion to the middle of the adjacent arc. Between all arcs there are twelve fan-shaped “flowers” with bent sides (in the outer sectors the bend of the short side is steeper) and wavy edges with two embedded “peas” of the background orientated in the same direction: inner ones – clockwise, outer ones – anticlockwise. The opposite “flowers” by the centre of the medallion are painted the same colour: the bottom left and top right are yellow (ochre) with dark shading at the bases by the circumference; the top left and bottom right are pink (remnants of dark pink shading), the top and the bottom ones are green (remnants on the bottom one). The “flowers” in the outer segments are painted with the same colours alternating with the adjacent ones: the bottom left and the top right retain remnants of dark pink shading; the top left and bottom right are yellow with brown shading (on the top one – traces); the side ones are green (traces). All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3-3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: thin cracks and damaged white chalk ground all over the surface of the medallion; nearly complete loss of pigments in the ornament except for the yellow fan-shaped “flower” bottom right; complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 1999, restorer O.V.Lelekova and E.M.Christie.

The Northern Wall, the Second to the West of the Doors

The Northern Wall, the Second to the West of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into three parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” while the additional lines between its three “petals’ form a rectilineal triangle with the apices in the centres of the circumferences. In the “petals” (the top one is vertical) there are inscribed “leaves” with wavy edges and remnants of green (glauconite) paint. The irregular rhombuses between the “petals” are filled with fan-shaped equilateral, presumably, (judging from the dark pink shading) pink “flowers” with deeply ragged edges by the centre of the medallion. By the medallion circumference there are fan-shaped yellow (ochre) “leaves” with one long (by the medallion circumference) and the other short concave sides and a wavy edge with an embedded “pea” of the background in the middle of the edge; the bases from the tops of the “petals” are dark. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: thin cracks and damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion, partially strengthened; mechanical damage; nearly complete loss of pigments in the ornament except for the yellow fan-shaped “flowers” at the bottom; complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 1995, restorer O.V.Lelekova and E.M.Christie.

The Northern Wall, the First to the West of the Doors

The Northern Wall, the First to the West of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into twelve parts The intersecting arcs form a “flower” which twelve “petals” nearly touch the medallion circumference. The “petals” contain “leaves” with wavy edges of alternate yellow (ochre) and green (glauconite) colours with three strokes in the middle: in the yellow ones – brown strokes; in the pink ones – red (cinnabar) strokes. Between the “petals” are three symmetrically placed white “peas”. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Condition: thin cracks and damaged white chalk ground all over the medallion, partially strengthened; strengthened loss of the white chalk ground (2x2 cm) in the bottom part of the medallion border; nearly complete loss of pigments except for the two yellow “petals” at the bottom. Complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 1999, restorer O.V.Lelekova, E.M.Christie.

The Northern Wall, the First to the East of the Doors

The Northern Wall, the First to the East of the Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of a circumference of half the medallion diameter with the focus in its centre. Inside the circle four circumferences of half its diameter are inscribed on perpendicular axes. Between the smaller central and medallion circumferences there are eight circumferences evenly positioned at a small distance from each other. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” of the grey background. The parts of the circumferences outside the “flower” and the eight circumferences contain round “flowers” with wavy edges and “peas” in the bases facing each other between the centre and the border of the medallion. In the centre the top and the bottom ones retain some green and blue pigments, on the sides – presumably, alternating pink, yellow and greenish-blue: the top and bottom on the sides – yellow ochre with dark shading above the “pea” in the bottom ones; in the side ones – traces of a bluish-green pigment, in the top and the bottom ones – pinkish-grey. Outside the four central circles there are four small yellow spreading “leaves”. Between the eight circles are trapezoid elements with concave sides and wavy edges facing the medallion circumference and embedded “peas” in the middle of the opposite sides. In the figures there are traces of pigments: in the two adjacent ones at the top and bottom – greenish-blue, in the rest – pinkish-grey also in the pairs. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and in the centres of the small circles there are traces of the leg of a compass. A wide groove made with several repetitive lines follows the contour of the medallion in the bottom right quarter. Condition: thin cracks all over the medallion, damaged white chalk ground on the left. Several strengthened small losses of the white chalk ground in the medallion border on the left. Nearly complete loss of pigments in the ornaments except for the two yellow “flowers” at the bottom. Complete loss of the cloth folds crossing the medallion. Conservation: 2000, restorers O.V.Lelekova, N.G. Bregman.

The Northern Wall, the Second to the East of the Northern Doors

The Northern Wall, the Second to the East of the Northern Doors

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey-black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four equal parts and a circumference of half the medallion diameter. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” that are halved by the small circumference. The outer parts of the “petals” and the spaces between them are also divided into two parts by additional arcs orientated in different directions. The broad “petals” in the small circle are filled with “pyramids” with traces of the same colours in the opposite ones: in the top left and bottom right – blue (azurite), in the rest – light pink (ochre) with darker shading at the bases above the “peas” by the circumference. In between are equilateral fan-shaped yellow (ochre) “flowers” with wavy edges facing the circumference and dark shading at the bases. The outer parts of the broad “petals” and spaces between them are filled with fan-shaped “flowers” of different shapes and location: two in each gap. Nearly all have the wavy edge facing the medallion circumference except for the middle left and bottom right by the small circumference that face upwards. Judging from the surviving traces of the pigments, yellow- blue and pink-blue alternated and the blue did not concur with the adjacent ones. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks all over the medallion, damaged white chalk ground in the bottom half, partially strengthened; loss of the white edging in the upper part of the small circle (1x0.5 cm); nearly complete loss of pigments in the ornament elements except for the yellow “flowers” in the bottom half of the medallion; considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2000, restorers O.V.Lelekova, N.G.Bregman.

The Northern Altar Wall, the Second from the Window

The Northern Altar Wall, the Second from the Window

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of a circumference of a smaller diameter with the focus in the centre of the medallion and circular arcs of the same diameter with the foci on the small circumference dividing it into four equal parts. In the centre the intersecting grey arcs form a “flower” with four “petals”, the inner parts of which have green (glauconite) “pyramids” with dark shading at the base of each step. The same though wider pyramids are in the opposite location, between the “petals” outside the small circumference. Between the “pyramids” inside the circumference there are yellow (ochre) equilateral fan-shaped “flowers” with wavy edges and dark shading at the bases by the centre of the medallion. In the outer parts of the “petals” there are small yellow “flowers” of the same shape as the “flowers” inside with edges orientated in a clockwise direction except for the top left one. Between the elements outside the small circle are areas of an unpainted white chalk ground with a stroke of cinnabar in the top left quarter. Traces of the medallion border: wide (4 cm) between two thin ones with white (the white chalk ground) in between. In the centre of the medallion and on its additional circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks all over the medallion; nearly complete loss of the background and pigments of the ornament between the elements outside the small circle. Considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2003 (?)

The Northern Altar Wall, the First from the Window

The Northern Altar Wall, the First from the Window

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into twelve equal parts. Between the centre of the medallion and its circumference are eight fan-shaped “leaves” with one long and the other short sides and a wavy edge orientated in an anticlockwise direction. The leaves are painted yellow (ochre) and green (glauconite) in pairs opposite each other with darker bases. In the segments between the pairs of the “leaves” there is an unpainted white ground. Some traces of the medallion wide border (3.5 cm) between two thin ones and white (the white chalk ground) in between remain. In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks all over the medallion are partially strengthened; complete loss of pigments on the elements between the pairs of the “leaves” and the background; considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2004, restorer E.M.Christie.

Altar, under the Window

Altar, under the Window

In the medallion (57 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of four circumferences of half the medallion diameter symmetrically positioned around its centre on perpendicular axes. In the centre the intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four “petals” each of which contains a light-green (glauconite) “leaf” with one wavy edge (in the upper “leaves” facing each other, in the bottom ones – vice versa) and shading at the base (by the centre of the circumference) along its straight side. In the circumferences are hardly discernible light grey traces of wavy edges with a “pea” at the top. Outside the circumferences there are spreading fan-shaped yellow (ochre) “flowers” with wavy edges by the medallion border and dark bases. There are traces of the medallion borders: wide (3.5 cm) between two thin ones and white (white chalk ground) in between. In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: there is a wide (up to 6 cm) diagonal crack across the medallion, partially strengthened; thin cracks, mechanical damage. Complete loss of the background and pigments of the ornament except for the green “petals” in the centre and the yellow “flowers”; considerable loss of the cloth folds. Conservation: 2004, restorer E.M.Christie.

The Southern Altar Apse Wall, Second from the Window

The Southern Altar Apse Wall, Second from the Window

In the medallion (60 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey-black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of three circumferences of half the medallion diameter, positioned one after another on the same vertical line; the focus of the middle one coincides with the centre of the medallion, whereas the foci of the other two are in the middle of the radii. Two arcs are drawn from two side points of the medallion circumference to the points of the intersection of the small circumferences. In the upper segments of the upper and lower small circumferences there are green (glauconite) spreading “flowers” with wavy edges; in the bottom one with a semicircle in the middle of the wavy edge. The bases are shaded with dark strokes: in the top one they are forked with an oval stroke in the middle; in the bottom one – from the horizontal base. In the lower sectors of both circumferences there are wavy edges of the background with traces of pink and grey. In the side segments of the central circumference are small yellow (ochre) three-petal “flowers” with semicircles between the two vertical “petals”. On the sides of the central small circle, between the arcs are “pyramids”: on the right it is light green (glauconite) with dark shading in the bases of two “steps” and at the top; on the left – pinkish-grey traces. Between the circumferences and arcs there are fan-shaped yellow (ochre) “flowers” with dark shading at the bases by the centre of the medallion. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on the circumferences there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks, partially strengthened, and mechanical damage all over the medallion. Strengthened loss of the white chalk ground (1x5.5 cm) in the upper part of the medallion border. Complete loss of pigments in the lower parts of the small circumferences and in the left “pyramid”. Partial loss of the background and cloth folds. Conservation: 2003, restorer O.M.Revin

The Southern Altar Apse Wall, the First from the Window

The Southern Altar Apse Wall, the First from the Window

In the medallion (60 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey-black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of six circumferences of various diameters with the same focus and circular arcs of the central circle diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six equal parts. Between the arcs six fan-shaped “flowers” with wavy edges, orientated in an anticlockwise direction, are inscribed from the centre of the central circle towards its circumference in a clockwise direction. The opposite “flowers” are painted the same colour: the side one is green (glauconite); the bottom left and top right are yellow (ochre) with dark shading of the bases (by the circumference). There are several wide borders of the central circles with white (white chalk ground) in between: an internal (2.3 cm) background border, followed by a green (1.5 cm), thin brown and external (3.7 cm) with pinkish-grey traces. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on the circumference of the internal circle there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: multiple strengthened minor losses of the white chalk ground in the bottom and left parts of the medallion, mechanical damage. Complete loss of pigments in the top left bottom right “flowers” and in the external circle; considerable loss of the background and cloth folds. Conservation: 2004, restorer O.M.Revin.

Central Altar Apse, Medallion under the Window

Central Altar Apse, Medallion under the Window

In the medallion (60 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey-black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four equal parts and a circumference of half the medallion diameter. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with four broad “petals” which are halved by the small circumference. In the inner parts are fan-shaped “leaves” with wavy edges with semicircles in the middle facing the medallion circumference. The opposite “leaves” are the same colour: the top left and bottom right are yellow (ochre), the rest are green (glauconite); the base shading is dark. The space between the “leaves” is filled with the background. In the outer parts of the “petals” are wide “pyramids” with alternate to the “leaves” colour and base shading of each “step”. In between are trapezoid elements of pinkish-grey tone with embedded “peas” of the background in the middle of the sides facing the small circle. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (2.8-3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion (several) and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: a strengthened wide (up to 4.5 cm) diagonal crack crosses the medallion. Thin cracks and locally strengthened losses are all over the medallion. Complete loss of pigments in the trapezoid elements, considerable loss of the background and cloth folds. Conservation: 2004, restorer O.M.Revin.

The Northern Altar Wall, First from the Window

The Northern Altar Wall, First from the Window

In the medallion (60 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six equal parts The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with six narrow “petals” painted: vertical - yellow (ochre) with slight shading of the left edges, the rest are green (glauconite) with darker shading of the lower edges and long strokes in the middle. Between the “petals”, on the horizontal line there are two fan-shaped yellow “flowers” : wavy edges with “peas” of the background in the middle facing the medallion border; the bases are shaded with dark strokes. The other gaps have similar wavy edges. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (2.5-3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin surface cracks and mechanical damage all over the medallion. Complete loss of the fan-shaped “flowers”, except for the side ones; considerable loss of the background and cloth folds. Conservation: 2004, restorer O.M.Revin

The Northern Altar Wall, Second from the Window

The Northern Altar Wall, Second from the Window

In the medallion (60 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six equal parts The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with six narrow “petals” of the grey background colour (the strokes vary in density); in the top “petal” there are dark black forking lines of “veins” repeated in the border of the upper half of the medallion. Between the “petals” are six large fan-shaped “leaves” with wavy edges facing the circumference; the opposite “leaves” are the same colour: the left and right are green (glauconite), the bottom left and top right are yellow (ochre), in the bottom right there are traces of grayish pink pigment; all the bases are shaded with dark strokes. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks and mechanical damage all over the medallion; complete loss of pigments in the top left and bottom right fan-shaped “flowers”; considerable loss of the background and cloth folds. Conservation: 2003, restorer I.N.Fedyshin.

Outside Fresco of the Western Portal to the North of the Doors

Outside Fresco of the Western Portal to the North of the Doors

In the medallion (61 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey-black background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of four circumferences of half the medallion diameter symmetrically positioned around its centre on perpendicular axes. In the centre the intersecting circumferences form a “flower” with four “petals” each of which contains a yellow (ochre) “leaf” with a wavy edge orientated in a clockwise direction.; the base shading is brown (by the medallion centre). In the centre of the “flower” the background shows through and forms four small “petals”. The contours of the elements inside the circles are wavy with “peas” of the background facing the centre of the medallion. Outside the circles are yellow (ochre) spreading “leaves” with wavy edges (facing the medallion border) with “peas” of the background in the middle, the outlines of the base are brown with an oval stroke in the middle. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and the centres of the circles there are traces of the leg of a compass. Light yellow lines of folds cross the sides of the medallion. Condition: thin cracks all over the medallion; strengthened loss of the white chalk ground (2.5x2.5 cm) in the centre of the medallion. Complete loss of pigments in the “flowers” in the four circumferences, considerable loss of the background and cloth folds. Restoration: 1959, restorers V.O.Kirikov, V.E. Briagin, I.E.Briagina

Outside Fresco of the Western Portal to the South of the Doors

Outside Fresco of the Western Portal to the South of the Doors

In the medallion (61 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six equal parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with six “petals” into which red (ochre) “leaves” with wavy edges and dark shading of the bases by four oval strokes and an arc at the bases by the medallion centre are inscribed. The concave parts of the “leaves” form a small “flower” of the background colour in the centre. Between the “petals” from the end of one to the middle of the adjacent one, arcs are drawn in an anticlockwise direction. On the sides of the arcs are pink (ochre) fan-shaped “flowers” with one long and one short sides and wavy edges, facing the medallion border, with dark shading at the bases. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (2.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Pink lines of the folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks all over the medallion. Loss of the white chalk ground (1.5x1 cm) in the bottom right “petal’. Complete loss of pigments in the top left and bottom right “petals”, all inner fan-shaped “flowers” except for the bottom right, and in the outer left and bottom right. Considerable loss of the background and cloth folds. Splashes of paint. Restoration: 1959, restorers V.O.Kirikov, V.E.Briagin, I.E.Briagina.

The Southeastern Pillar, the Southern Facet

The Southeastern Pillar, the Southern Facet

In the medallion (71 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a light grey background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into four parts. The intersecting arcs form a four-petal “flower”, the left “petals” of which are a little wider than the right ones. The opposite “petals’ are the same colour: the top left and bottom right are yellow (ochre) with brown shading of the outer sides, the other pair retains traces of cinnabar. In the middle of each “petal” the background with a wavy outline and a “pea” at the end shows through. Between the ”petals” are green (glauconite) fan-shaped “leaves” with wavy edges and a “pea” of the background in the middle, by the medallion border and dark shaded bases. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 -4 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion there is a trace of the leg of a compass. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: thin cracks and mechanical damage all over the medallion. Nearly complete loss of pigment in the two “petals”, considerable loss of pigment in the three fan-shaped “leaves”, the cloth folds and background. Conservation: 2003, restorer N.G.Bregman.

The Northeastern Pillar, the Northern Facet

The Northeastern Pillar, the Northern Facet

In the medallion (75 cm in diameter) there is a flower-leaf ornament against a grey-blue background. The geometrical pattern of the ornament is built of circular arcs of the medallion diameter with the foci on its circumference dividing it into six parts. The intersecting arcs form a “flower” with six “petals”. The opposite “petals” are of the same colour: the top and bottom are light pink (traces) with remnants of a cinnabar stroke in the middle of the bottom one; the top left and bottom right are yellow (ochre) with dark strokes; the top right and bottom left are blue (azurite). Between the “petals” are “flowers” with a large rounded core and three symmetrically embedded “peas” of the background between the three elongated “petals”, the opposite “flowers” are of the same colour: the top left and bottom right are blue; the top right and bottom left are yellow with dark shading of the bases by the medallion border and strokes in the “petals”; the side ones retain traces of pink and cinnabar pigments. All the colour elements of the ornament including the wide border (3.5 cm) between the two thin ones have a white outline (white chalk ground). In the centre of the medallion and on its circumference there are traces of the leg of a compass. Two short grooves in the upper half of the lower “petal”. Light green cloth folds are painted over the ornament. Condition: surface cracks all over the medallion, minor mechanical damage. Nearly complete loss of pink and cinnabar pigments and shading; considerable loss of blue pigment and cloth folds. The yellow “petals” and the bottom left “flower” are in good shape. Conservation: 2000



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