Boris and Gleb, Sts, with scenes from their lives

Iconography:  Boris, St. Prince Martyr (baptized as Roman), Gleb, St. Prince Martyr (baptized as David), Hagiographic cycle of Boris and Gleb

Date: XIV century. The second half of the 14th c.

Iconographic school/art center:  Moscow school

Origin: From the Church of Boris and Gleb in “Zaprudy” in Kolomna where it had been a temple icon.

Material: Wood, tempera

Dimensions:  height 134 cm, width 89 cm

In the center of the icon are the full-length figures of the princes, slightly turned to each other, with crosses in the right hands and swords in the left ones. They are dressed in long light-green and dark-green dalmatics with belts. The dalmatics are decorated with stones and pearls.

The centerpiece is surrounded with border scenes from the saints’ lives.

Border scenes:

1. Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich hands a sword to Prince Boris and sends him to battle with the Pechenegs

2. The entombment of Prince Vladimir who died in his son’s absence

3. Boris returns from the campaign

4. Boris, left by his bodyguards, shares his anticipation of death with his servant George

5. Svyatopolk gives presents to the assassin

6. Svyatopolk sends assassins to Boris

7. Boris and his servant George Ugrin pray in a tent

8. Boris sees his forthcoming death in a dream

9. The murder of Boris and George Ugrin in the tent

10. The burial of Boris and Gleb in Vyshgorod

11. The murder of Gleb in a boat

12. Gleb’s body thrown in a desert between two logs

13. The removal of the relics of Boris and Gleb to Vyshgorod

14. Yaroslav’s battle with Svyatopolk

15. The defeat of Svyatopolk

16. Svyatopolk falls down to the opening earth “between the Czechs and Liakhs”

Inv. № 28757. © The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow


Государственная Третьяковская Галерея. Каталог собрания. Древнерусское искусство X — начала XV века. Том I. № 58.

  • General view