2133. Auguste Cadolle,The Great Lavra of the Trinity and

Object description
Russia 1782-1849
The Great Lavra of the Trinity and St. Sergei at Sergeyev-Pasad
Signed with monogram, oil on canvas, 48 x 67cm.

The monastery was founded by St. Sergei of Radonezh (died 1392), a leading figure of the monastic revival of the late 14th century, the period of Mongol occupation. Sergei's asceticism emphasized labour, humility and spiritual contemplation. Unlike the monastic figures of the pre-Mongol period, he was an exponent of the life of a hermit and his foundation (1340) in honour of the Holy Trinity was initially no more than a log cabin in remote forest. Yet such was the influence of his example that many came to join him in his "desert" and monasteries founded by his disciples after his death mushroomed throughout the north Russian wilderness.

The Monastery of the Trinity has consistently been at the centre of Russian spiritual and cultural life. Its buildings represent a spectacular complex of ecclesiastical architecture with examples of every period and style. With time, a hamlet grew up around the monastery walls. During the fourteenth century it was a centre for the implanting in Russia of the Byzantine Hesychast spirituality and art. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries writers, artists and philosophers continued to be drawn to it.

Rublyov's famous icon of the Trinity was painted in memory of Saint Sergei and placed in the Monastery Church of the Trinity near his tomb.

Depicted in the painting from left to right are a late 17th century refectory church, an eighteenth century belltower by Ukhtomsky, the Church of the Dormition constructed by Ivan the Terrible, and the main entrance to the monastic compound.