- G. I. Vzdornov
(fl second half of 11th century; d Kiev).
Russian painter and monk. He learnt the art of painting in the Pecherskaya Lavra (cave monastery) in Kiev, working alongside Greek artists who were decorating the cathedral of the Dormition (1073–89; destr. 1941) with mosaics and wall paintings: ‘Alimpy himself helped them and studied under them’ (Kievo-Pechersky Paterikon). The Paterikon, the source of all information about Alimpy, relates that the monk produced icons for the monastery itself and on commission, and the numerous references to the use of silver and gold suggest that he also practised as a jeweller. A wealthy citizen of Kiev ordered seven icons from Alimpy to form a Deësis made up of images of Christ, the Virgin, John the Baptist, Archangels Michael and Gabriel and two Apostles. The Paterikon also states that Alimpy’s icon of the Virgin was sent by Vladimir Monomakh (reg 1076–8; 1094–1125) to Rostov, where it is mentioned in early 13th-century sources. No surviving Old Russian icon, however, can be definitively attributed to Alimpy. He is buried in the caves of the Pecherskaya Lavra, alongside other ‘venerable Fathers’....