[St. Pachomius Library]

Theophanes the Greek

XIV/XV Centuries
Trained as an iconographer in Constantinople and presumably born there, Theophanes the Greek is said to have decorated the interiors of at least 40 churches in Constantinople and the Crimea before emigrating to Russia in the 1370's. The Third Novgorod Chronicle records that he and a team of Russian craftsmen were responsible for the work on the interior of the church of the Transfiguration, where his earliest surviving work can be seen. (Some believe that this is the only work that can reliably be attributed to Theophanes.) He is known to have painted for Vladimir, prince of Serpukhov, and to have collaborated with Andrei Rublev on the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow. Contemporaries say that Theophanes also illustrated books, but none of these seem to have survived. Epifanii Premudrii, a Russian writer of the XV Century, praises Theophanes, whose style influenced the schools of Novgorod and Moscow, for his virtuosity and originality.

Karen Rae Keck


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