Art Notes: The Hospitality of Abraham by Andrei Rublev

Authored by Dr. Lionel Gracey in Issue #31.4 of The Sower

Between the birth of Abraham and the birth of Jesus, about eighteen centuries, Israel’s understanding of God underwent considerable development. In only one passage of the Old Testament, however, is there any reference to the idea of God as Trinity. This occurs in one of the most mysterious passages in the Old Testament, which is Abraham’s encounter with the Lord by the oaks of Mamre (Gen 18:1-15). To illustrate this scene, we have chosen what is possibly the best known of all Russian icons. This is The Hospitality of Abraham, by Andrei Rublev (c1360-1430), painted about the year 1411. It is often known simply as Rublev’s Icon of the Holy Trinity.

Icons are not pictures in any ordinary sense of the word. They are ‘written’ in prayer, written in a sense ‘from God’ as windows through which we allow God to look upon us and speak to us. Because of this icons are for prayer, devotion and contemplation rather than for analysis or for teaching. If teaching and analysis do take place, as here in the ‘Teaching through Art’ series, it is only for the sake of insight into divine mystery and thus to deeper devotion.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Kerygmatic Catechesis and the New Directory
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The much-anticipated Directory for Catechesis is finally here! So many of us involved in the work of catechetical renewal have eagerly awaited its publication. This directory is the third of its kind, following 1971 and 1997 directories that each proposed a vision for catechesis intended to prepare Catholics to live in the modern world as well-... Read more
An Invitation to a Faithful, Dynamic Renewal of Catechesis
By Jem Sullivan
Free This article explores c hapters 1-2 of the new Directory for Catechesis. The publication of a Directory for Catechesis by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization could not have arrived at a more providential moment as the universal Church seeks a renewal of Christian faith in local churches struggling through the effects... Read more
Becoming Windows for the Light of the Living God
By Brad Bursa
This article explores chapters 3-4 of the Directory for Catechesis. O ne could liken c hapters t hree (The Catechist) and f our (The Formation of Catechists) of the new Directory for Catechesis to a meditation on windows and how they are made. Identity and Vocation of the Catechist In the early Church, those who followed the Way were often called... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now