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chapel of St. Nicholas there were presented scenes from his life. Their style

gives away the hand o f a less skilful master, but a half-length figure o f a

saint in the conch belongs among the most perfect images o f the whole


The pictorial ensemble included icons from the iconostasis o f the c a th e ­

dral which were painted at the same time with the murals. 16 deisis icons, 7

icons of the prophets and 2 local saints icons are kept now in the Tretyakov

Gallery, Russian museum and in the Kirillov museum. The murals and icons

of the Ferapontov monastery cathedral are recognized as the summit o f D i ­

onysius' art. Their bright colorfulness, festive decorativeness and solemnity,

the calm steadiness of compositions reflected that stage o f national self-

awareness, when Russian people for the first time felt themselves citizens of

a large centralized national state whose mission was to play the role o f the

single lawful heir to the Byzantine empire which had fallen under the blows

of the heterodox. At the same time the onlooker is charmed by a special

view of the world which belongs to one of the greatest masters of Russian

medieval painting, by his artistism, and his very own comb ina tion o f e le ­

gance and speculativeness.

In 1530—34 t h e c h u r c h o f t h e A n n u n c i a t i o n w i t h

a r e f e c t o r y c h a m b e r was built in Ferapontov monastery. Its

construction was connected with the visit o f Grand Prince Vasili III who

had visited Kiriflov monastery in 1527 to pray for the birth o f a heir. The

massive single-pier chamber and the church were set on one axis and raised

on a high «podklet» like both of the Kirillov refectories. The cellar's c h am ­

ber, no longer extant, was attached to the refectory not from the west, but

from the north destroying thus the symmetry. Clearly traceable remains of

its walls and vaults are all that is left of it today. A vaulted parvis with big

open arches in the second store was attached to the refectory on the south.

Astone staircase lead to the parvis. A stone plate with an inscrip tion do c u ­

menting the construction and sanctifying of the church was fixed in to the

wall next to the door leading from the parvis to the refectory. The chu rch

appears a little unusual inside. It does not have a special room for the altar

and is covered by a low dome resting on arches located at the corners o f the

church. One more tier was erected above the building, a staircase con ta ined

in the body o f the wall led to it from the church. The cen ter o f this tie r was

occupied by a high cylinder which was transformed at the top in to a light -

drum. Small cells opened into it, their arrangement seems chao tic at a first

glance. These cells looked out to the south and east through big open arches

which once housed bells. The volume of the church was crowned by three

tiers of «kokoshniki» and a drum with a cupola. The arrangement o f the

upper part o f the chu rch of the Annunciation on the whole is very similar to

the superstructure of the Kirillov church of Archangel Gabriel.

The «podklet» beneath the church, the refectory and the cellar's chambe r

housed a bakery and o ther service rooms. The warm air from the bakery was

used to heat the upper storey through special heating channels. The food