The private chapel of the imperial family, the Cathedral of the Annunciation, with its nine golden domes, is not dedicated to independence, like the Dormition Cathedral, or to the victories of the Russian army, as is the Cathedral of the Archangel, but… to prayer.
Each Tsar enriched the edifice by adding new works of art. For Ivan the Terrible, it was an extra door: excommunicated after his fourth marriage, he could only attend the service if he stayed behind a gate. Completed in 1489 by an architect from Pskov influenced by the Italian Renaissance, the cathedral is distinguished by its jasper floor, golden doors, frescoes, and, of course, its extraordinary iconostasis, on which hang icons by Andrei Rublev, his master Theophanes the Greek, and Prokhor of Gorodets.
There is an especially well-executed Eastern-Orthodox Deesis (Christ enthroned, carrying a book, and flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist), with the Mother of God, dressed in black veils on a gold background, raising her hands in supplication.
Cathedral of the Annunciation
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