The Trinity is an icon created by a brilliant Russian painter Andrei Rublev in the 15th century.
It is Rublev’s most famous work, and the most famous of all Russian icons, regard as one of the highest achievements of Russian art.
Rublev was a monk in the Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery, and a devout follower of St. Sergius. He took a vow of silence and poured his passions and obsessions into his paintings.
The Trinity icon is currently held in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
The Trinity icon is also known as The Hospitality of Abraham and the icon of The Old Testament Trinity.
The prototype for this icon was the mysterious appearance of the Holy Trinity in the form of three travelers to Abraham and Sarah under the oak of Mamre.
Abraham and his wife Sarah entertained the three angels in the shade of an oak when Abraham understood that the angels were the embodiment of God in three faces.
The Church has many different depictions of the Holy Trinity. But the icon which defines the very essence of Trinity Day is invariably this one which shows the Trinity in the form of three angels.
The Holy Trinity icon depict in the form of three angels, rather than depicting the classic Father, Son and Holy Spirit breakdown as old bearded man, Jesus and the dove.
Besides this figurative personification there is a complex theology that renders the Trinity in a rare iconography seen superlatively in Andrei Rublev’s icon Trinity.
This icon most fully expresses the dogma of the Holy Trinity: the three angels are depicted in equal dignity, symbolizing the Trinity and equality of all three Persons.
Angels are depicted as seated around an altar in the center of which there is a chalice of the Eucharist with the head of a sacrificial calf which symbolises the lamb of the New Testament, i.e., Christ.
The first angel is the first person of the Trinity – God the Father; the second, middle angel is God the Son; the third angel is God the Holy Spirit.
The left and center angels bless the chalice. God the Father blesses God the Son for death on the cross in the name of love for people. God the Holy Spirit (the right angel) is present here to provide comfort, confirming the high logic of sacrificial, all-forgiving love.
At the times of Andrei Rublev the Holy Trinity was the embodiment of spiritual unity, peace, harmony, mutual love and humility.
This icon is a masterpiece of ancient Russian iconography, and it is not surprising that the Church established it as the model for depicting the Trinity.