More than 500 years after he is thought to have died, Russian experts believe they have found the remains of the inspirational medieval icon painter Andrei Rublev, and intend to use them to build up a better idea of what he looked like.
During the course of restoration work on a Moscow church located in the city’s Andronikov Monastery, where Rublev is said to have died in 1430, the remains of two monks have been uncovered underneath the altar.
Experts believe it is “highly probable” that one of the men is Rublev, a monk whose icons are regarded as some of the finest pieces of religious art that have ever been created.
Scientists are now to run exhaustive tests on the bones to confirm their theory. The bones were found with a ceramic cup, the remains of small crucifixes that would have been worn around the neck, and leather sandals. . . .
His distinctive and hauntingly beautiful work decorates the walls of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in the Kremlin and several other churches across Russia. His most famous work, the Old Testament Trinity, hangs in Moscow’s Tretyakov Art Gallery. . . .
The fact that the “Rublev remains” are of a man who was around 50 years old when he died came as a surprise, since he was thought to have lived well into old age. . . .
Rublev was first mentioned in historical texts in 1405, and his icons are revered by the Russian Orthodox Church, which posthumously canonised him in 1988. They are famed for their simplicity, their vivid colours, and, quite simply, their “Russianness