Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Four Metropolitans of Moscow - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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PP012. The Four Metropolitans of Moscow with Alexei the Man of God and Saint Makari

Russian, Moscow School
17th century with later inserted miniature of Mitrofan Bishop of Voronezh and silver riza
Panel: 31 x 27 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial
Inscriptions in Old Slavonic: the saints are identified above their heads Holy Iona, Holy Piotr, Holy Alexei, Holy Filip; Rev, Alexei. Rev Makari

Provenance:  Paris art market

£6,000Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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The icon depicts the four Metropolitans of Moscow: Saint Peter, Saint Alexius, Saint Jonah and Saint Philip.

Saint Peter (Sveti Piotr), Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (died 1326). In 1308 he was appointed to the see of Kiev and all Russia. He later moved to Vladimir and finally to Moscow with whose rise to pre-eminence he is associated. (In 1380 Dimitri of the Don, Grand Prince of Moscow, defeated the Tartars, setting the scene for the unification of Russia under Muscovite control.)

Saint Alexius (Sveti Aleksei) (1296 - 1378) also supported the Moscow Princes in the struggles for power and presided over the Muscovite government during Dimitri Donskoi's minority. He founded the Andronikov monastery (today the Rublyov Museum), the Chudov Monastery in the Moscow Kremlin (pulled down in 1292) and the Alekseyevsky monastery.

Saint Jonah (Sveti Iona) (died 1461) was appointed Metropolitan of Moscow in 1448 though without the consent of the Patriarch of Constantinople. The Russian Orthodox Church thus became autocephalous ('self-headed' i.e. independent).

Saint Philip I (Sveti Filipp) was appointed Metropolitan of Moscow in 1464 and died in 1473. He presided over the rebuilding of the famous Cathedral of the Dormition (Ouspensky Sobor) in the Moscow Kremlin in 1474 by Aristotle Fiorovanti.

Detail Images