Olimpii, Master

Image - Icon of Virgin Platytera (Orans) (12-th century) attributed to Master Olimpii.

Olimpii, Master [Olimpij] (Alimpii), b ?, d 17 August 1114 in Kyiv. Icon painter. From 1084 he worked under Constantinople masters on the mosaics of the Dormition Cathedral of the Kyivan Cave Monastery and learned to paint from them. He is credited with painting the famous icon Great Panagia now in the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow. Some scholars (V. Antonova and Hryhorii Lohvyn) attribute the mosaics of Kyiv's Saint Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery to him. Olimpii's works mark the beginning of a distinctive Ukrainian tradition in icon painting. He is considered one of the founders of the Kyivan Cave Monastery Icon Painting Studio. The Kyivan Cave Patericon gives an account of his life and miracles.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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