proportions and engineering. In i484 Russian builders constructed the new chapel royal of the Annunciation. Tsar Vasilii III (i5o5-33) completed the trio of major Kremlin cathedrals with the cathedral of the Archangel Michael, designed in i5o5-9 by another Italian, Alevisio Novi. The Venetian shell motifs in the gables were much imitated in later buildings. All three cathedrals were fitted with magnificent iconostaseis and painted throughout with fresco cycles. Even the new Palace of Facets (by Marco and Piero Antonio Solari, begun in i487) was decorated inside with religious murals.66
This major building programme created work for painters, including Dion-isii (c. i44o to c. i5o7) and his sons, who ran a highly successful network of workshops.67 His first recorded works are the frescos of the church of the Nativity of the Virgin in the Pafnutiev-Borovskii monastery ^467-77). In i48i he was commissioned to paint the frescos for the new Kremlin cathedral of the Dormition. Some fragments of his originals may survive, including the Adoration of the Magi, but most have been painted over.68 The surviving Deesis tier is attributed in part to him, as are a pair of icons of Metropolitans Peter and Aleksii. His work has also been identified in the Kremlin Ascension monastery, the Volokolamsk monastery, the St Paul monastery at Obnorsk near Vologda (Trinity cathedral), and the St Ferapont monastery at Beloozero, where the blue, white and gold frescos of the cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God (i5o2-3?) are among his most complete surviving works. Dionisii and his team also painted the icons for the Deesis row (c. i5o2). The elegantly proportioned, elongated figures occupy panels some i55 cm high and 6o cm wide, with subtly highlighted, variegated colours against gold backgrounds representing divine light.69
Dionisii's hallmarks were stylised, elongated, almost incorporeal figures, rhythmically organised against gold or white backgrounds. He used a minimum ofdetail. Even suffering is stylised and made harmonious, for example in the Crucifixion (c. i5oo), in which Christ's body is contorted with just a slight curve and, in the Orthodox manner, devoid of all naturalistic renditions of injury. Dionisii and his school used colours full of radiance, achieving translu-cence without the use of much highlighting.7° The favourite colours were ochre, cinnabar, red, purple, blue and emerald green.
66 On architecture, see Brumfield, History.
67 D. Chugunov, Dionisii (Leningrad: Izobrazitel'noe iskusstvo, i979).
68 I. L. Buseva-Davydova, KhramyMoskovskogoKremlia: sviatyni i drevnosti (Moscow: Nauka, i997), 43-4.
69 V A. Gusev, Dionisii v Russkom muzee:k 5 00-letiiu rospisi Rozhdestvenskogo sobora Ferapon-tova (St Petersburg: Palace Editions, [2oo2]).
70 Alpatov, Early Russian icon painting, 25i.
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