Nativity-St. Ferapont Monastery, Southwest View, Ferapontovo, Russia


This photograph of the main ensemble at the Ferapontov-Nativity of the Virgin Monastery was taken in 1998 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the “Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Located near the Sheksna River in the central part of Vologda Province, the Ferapontov-Nativity Monastery was founded in 1398 on the shores of Lake Borodava by Ferapont, a monk of noble birth from Moscow. The center of the monastery is the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin, built in brick in 1490. Its upper walls and cupola were modified over a period from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The cathedral interior is covered with frescoes in praise of Christ and the Virgin Mary. They are the work of one of medieval Russia's greatest artists, Dionisy, who painted the interior in 1502, with the assistance of his two sons. The frescoes, extraordinary in the warmth of their colors and the delicacy of the figures, are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. In addition to the Nativity Cathedral, the monastery's central ensemble includes the refectory Church of the Annunciation (1530-31) and the Church of St. Martinian (1640), which displays a tower roof. The ensemble is linked together by a raised gallery with a 17th-century belltower.

Last updated: July 28, 2017