Rublev’s Icon – The Three Visitors or Trinity

Have you looked at Rublev’s icon as an image of the Trinity? The picture of the table and an empty seat as an invitation to us to participate in God’s community? It also illustrates a non female / male image because it’s difficult to tell the difference. Interested to hear your thoughts.

I have looked at Andrei Rublev‘s icon as an image of the Trinity. It is one of my favorite icons and I had the opportunity to see the original at The State Tretyakov Gallery while on an immersion trip through Wesley Theological Seminary.

There is rich symbolism in this icon which depicts both the three visitors to Abraham (Genesis 18) and the Trinity. There is a great deal of thought and study about the possibilities of which person of the Trinity each of those in the icon represent. You can find an in depth exploration of the icon here or many other locations online.

I had not before considered the empty seat (where the viewer is) as an invitation to be in relationship with God, but now that you have brought it up I agree. In this icon gender is not clearly evident and I believe that we cannot characterize God as being either male or female. I believe that the Son, Jesus, is male. I believe that Father is an appropriate term for God and I also believe that mother would be an appropriate description for God. God exhibits characteristics of both genders in relating to all of creation.

This question came out of a young adult small group taster last Sunday morning in which I taught about the question “What is the Trinity?”

Thanks for the picture.