Cathedral of St. Prokopii of Ustiug, Interior, Upper Tiers of Icon Screen, Velikii Ustiug, Russia


This interior view, east toward the iconostasis, of the Cathedral of Saint Prokopii of Ustiug at Velikii Ustiug (Vologda Oblast) was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Saint Prokopii was a 13th-century German merchant who converted to Orthodoxy in Novgorod in the 1240s and eventually moved to remote Ustiug, where he undertook a 30-year period of self-abnegation as a iurodivyi (Fool in Christ). Accounts of miracles accumulated after his death in 1303, and in 1547 he was canonized (the earliest iurodivyi to be recognized by the church). This cathedral, built of brick by Master Pëtr Kotelnikov, dates from 1668. It was built with the support of Metropolitan Jonah of Rostov and the merchant Afanasii Guselnikov. In 1724, the ceiling vaults and cupolas were rebuilt. The magnificent five-tiered gilded icon screen also dates from the early 18th century, and survived the Soviet period intact. Visible here are the upper tiers: the Festival Row; the Deesis Row (with Christ Enthroned in the center); the Prophets Row; and the Patriarchs Row. The Crucifixion scene at the top is here obscured by a silver-plated candelabra (panikadilo). The church was returned to the parish in 1995.

Last updated: January 11, 2016