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figures inclined towards each other, smooth attitudes, laconic lines of the|

drawing create a measured linear rythm. This rythm is supplemented by

special interruptions, it becomes interspersed with architectural grounds which|

are always strictly harmonious with the figures. A peculiar analogy with a

musical composition is created.

The system of wall-painting of the cathedral in general is likewise strictly

and logically arranged. Dionysius proceeds from the arch itectural articula­

tion of the interior, the size and proportions o f pictorial compositions are

subordinated to them. By this he achieved the harmony o f architecture and

painting, clear visibility of the walls, the correlation o f the image to the

onlooker. The idea o f dedicating this cathedral to the Virgin had been con­

sistently applied here. The theme of the Virgin is revealed in the painting of

the ou ter west wall of the building, where the central place is occupied by

the composition «the Nativity o f the Virgin». Inside the cathedral, the scenes

dedicated to the Virgin occupy the most important places. Manyfigured com­

position «the Intercession o f the Virgin», «In Thee Rejoieth», «the Synaxis

o f the Virgin» are in the big lunettes, on the cheek o f the east vault there is

«the Virgin o f the Sign», and in the conch of the central apse there is «the

Virgin and Child Enthroned». A whole tier of painting is devoted to the

Illustration o f the «Acathistos of the Virgin». The Acathistos cycle begins on

the inner facets o f the eastern piers, where four composition of «the Annu-

ciation», a peculiar brief introductory suite, are located; it is then continued

on the inner sides of the western piers completing thus a circle in the space

under the dome of the cathedral. The narration goes to the south-west and

later to the north-west corners of the monument and finally forms another

wide circle including the south wall, outer facets of the western piers and

the no rth wall. The circular treatment o f the subject emphasizes the main

sections of the cathedral. This is the most ancient illustration of the Acathistos

in Russian monumen tal painting.

Other parts o f the cathedral are not linked directly with the theme o f the

Virgin. There is a half-length image of Christ Pantocratoi in the dome,

archangels are depicted in the spaces between the windows o f the drum, a

little lower there are the forefathers in round medallions, the evangelists are

represented in the pendentives. The subject matter of this part o f the murals

is very traditional. Such compositions as «the Teachings o f the Fathers of

the Church» are rare. In the Ferapontov cathedral they occupy the cheeks

o f the no rth , sou th and west vaults. The arches under the drum (supporting

the drum) are covered with round medallions with half-length figures of

saints, the vaults — with parables and scenes from the life o f Christ. The

west wall is traditionally occupied by a big composition of «the Last Judge­

ment». The lower part of the north, south and partly the west wall is occu ­

pied by representations o f the Seven Oecumenical Councils also rare in

Russian monumen tal painting.

Saints holding liturgy texts and deacons worshipping the Eucharistical

Child are dep icted in the altar. In the «diakonnik» room which housed the