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“The Holy Trinity” Holy Icon Painting, Tempera, Russia, 16th - 17th century

“The Holy Trinity” Holy Icon Painting, Tempera, Russia, 16th - 17th century

Old Testament Trinity, “The Hospitality of Abraham”

Egg tempera on wood, Russia

Circa 17th century

This important Icon was painted in the XVII century over an older icon, probably 16th century, we can see this thanks to the paint that has been peeled off where the central chalice is located, letting us see the older version of the chalice.



This Old Testament Trinity is depicting “The Hospitality of Abraham”, which is an icon that refers to the event detailed in Gen 18, when three men appeared at Abraham’s tent next to the Oaks of Mamre near Hebron. Abraham provided hospitality to these three men who had suddenly appeared and acted in unison, speaking as one, as the Holy Trinity. When they had been given a meal, the three men promised Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would have a child within a year.

This representation follows closely that one of Andrei Rublev (In the photos) in his most famous work and the most famous of all Russian icons, regarded as one of the highest achievements of Russian art. 

In this icon, we see the angels seated around a table under the oak of Mamre, the figures are rendered in classical proportions, each holding a staff and bending their head forward. To the left Abraham offering them some food. In the foreground, a servant slaying the tender calf. The upper section showing Sarah preparing the bread, the arrival, the foot-washing and the sendoff of the Angels. 

In the background to the left an architectural setting, to the right a rock mountain, each related to the angels (left- Father, which is the house. Center – Christ, which is the tree of life. Right – The holy Spirit, which is the rock mountain) 

The faces painted with subtle shades of brown, the garments and landscape mainly with red and various tones of green and yellow. The garments and the table are finely executed 



33 cm x 28 cm 

Good condition. Some paint missing at the bottom corners and sides, besides the central chalice, which let us see the older version underneath. Icon is dirty and cleaning would be possible, but this is the client choice since it is not recommended to clean the top layer of varnish of a Holy relic such as this one.


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