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12 March 2021 – 15 June 2021

Moscow, Museum of the Russian Icon

Organized by
The Museum of the Russian Icon

The Museum of the Russian Icon; Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg); State Public Historical Library of Russia; State Tretyakov Gallery; State Historical-Architectural and Art Museum and Heritage Site "Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda"; State Historical and Art Museum "New Jerusalem"; State Historical Museum (Moscow); Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg); Moscow and All Russia Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church; The Moscow Kremlin Museums; Moscow Theological Academy Museum "Church and Archaeological Study" (Sergiev Posad); "Nevyansk Icon" Museum (Yekaterinburg); Pustozersk Historical, Cultural and Landscape Museum and Heritage Site (Nenets Autonomous District); Russian State Library; Sergiev Posad State Historical and Art Museum and Heritage SIte; Serpukhov Historical and Art Museum; St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation; Andrey Rublev Central Museum of Ancient Russian Culture and Art; private collections of Yu.I. Afanasyev, S.A. Afonin, M.S. Byvshev, A.L. Kusakin (Moscow), M.A. Maximov (St. Petersburg)


The Moscow Kremlin Museums take part in the exhibition project dedicated to the 400th Birth Anniversary of Avvakum Petrovich, archpriest, encourager and spiritual leader of the Old Believers. The Great Schism, which shook all Russian society strata, became one of the most tragic pages of 17th-century Russian history, still causing heated debates and diametrically opposite assessments. On display are rare artefacts, many of which are authentic relics of the era, providing the viewer with an insight into the complex and ambiguous events of the period and a sense of the tragedy and depth of the changes that took place back then.

Icon of the Virgin speaking to the Apostles and Consoling the Afflicted   Chart from Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Nikon to the founder of the Anzer Monastery old monk Eliezer and the monks   Icon of the Holy Trinity 

The exhibition presents three mid-17th century original charts from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums sent to the Solovetsky monastery by Nikon during different periods of his life: first, as Metropolitan of Novgorod and Velikie Luki, and then as Patriarch. A unique example of Old Russian iconography, created before the Schism but used in the Old Believer circle, are two small icons from the second half of the 16th century, which initially were folding icon flaps. These exceptional images, recently restored, will be displayed for the first time.