Novgorod School of Icon Painting

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Russian Icon Images, Stock Photos & Vectors

The Greek term eikon Russian, obraz denotes “semblance,” indicating that the icon does not incarnate but only represents sacred objects. As such it serves to facilitate spiritual communion with the sacred; the distinctive two-dimensional flatness symbolizes an immateriality and hence proximity to the otherworldly.

In rare cases this mediating role reaches miraculous proportions when the faithful believe that a “miracle-working” chudotvornaya icon has interceded to save them from harm, such as the depredations of war and disease. The evolution of icons in Russia paralleled the development of Eastern Orthodoxy itself. Initially, after Grand Prince Vladimir embraced Eastern Orthodoxy in , icons were produced by Greek masters in Byzantium ; few in number, they were restricted to the urban elites that actually practiced the new faith.

The most venerated icon in Russia, the “Vladimir Mother of God ,” was actually a twelfth-century Greek icon imported from Constantinople.

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Russian icons

A Spiritual Approach The fundamental approach of the icon painter is, however, distinct from what we see in the West, and an early fourteenth-century icon from Novgorod showing the prophet Elijah clearly indicates the attitude of medieval Russian artists to religious painting. For Novgorodian painters set out to kindle man’s faith by using his eyes as the road to his mind and soul.

The prophet is therefore depicted as a man entirely concerned with the spiritual, and the icon is purposely devoid of the embellishments and refinements likely to render it attractive. Instead its intensity is overwhelming. A good deal of its force is due to the absolutely plain, flat, bright-red background which somehow escapes crudity, which does, in fact, attain distinction by appearing as the reflection of the fierce light illuminating the prophet’s inflexible eyes.

Greater Use of Line and Colour In the fifteenth century the spirituality of this approach remained as pure, and as inspired as in the fourteenth, but it found expression in finer composition, in a flowing linear rhythm, in a superb balancing of new proportions, and in an unsurpassed loveliness and sureness of colour – see, for instance, the Melchisedek fresco painting by Theophanes the Greek in the Cathedral of the Transfiguration, in Novgorod.

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Lankton, industrialist and co-founder of the plastics company Nypro. This icon is 49 inches wide and 65 inches high. Nicholas of Zaraisk’ Icon, circa Since its founding the massive icon collection has attracted a lot of attention from the press, the public and the international community. He said this of the museum: You make Russian-American cultural relations more deep and stable.

This is in sharp contrast to the situation under Soviet rule. Icons were at one time being destroyed or sold off as a matter of course by the Soviet government in order to purge the country all religious remnants. He began collecting in and eventually amassed a collection so large it demanded public attention.

Museum of Russian Icons

The preeminent Russian icon painter was Andrei Rublev — early 15th century , who was “glorified” officially recognized as a saint by the Moscow Patriarchate in His most famous work is The Old Testament Trinity. Russians often commissioned icons for private use, adding figures of specific saints for whom they or members of their family were named gathered around the icon’s central figure.

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Such images functioned as powerful relics as well as icons, and their images were naturally seen as especially authoritative as to the true appearance of the subject: Like icons believed to be painted directly from the live subject, they therefore acted as important references for other images in the tradition.

Beside the developed legend of the mandylion or Image of Edessa , was the tale of the Veil of Veronica , whose very name signifies “true icon” or “true image”, the fear of a “false image” remaining strong. St Peter encaustic on panel , c. Although there are earlier records of their use, no panel icons earlier than the few from the 6th century preserved at the Greek Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt survive, [25] as the other examples in Rome have all been drastically over-painted.

The surviving evidence for the earliest depictions of Christ, Mary and saints therefore comes from wall-paintings, mosaics and some carvings. They are broadly similar in style, though often much superior in quality, to the mummy portraits done in wax encaustic and found at Fayyum in Egypt. As we may judge from such items, the first depictions of Jesus were generic rather than portrait images, generally representing him as a beardless young man. It was some time before the earliest examples of the long-haired, bearded face that was later to become standardized as the image of Jesus appeared.

When they did begin to appear there was still variation. Augustine of Hippo [27] said that no one knew the appearance of Jesus or that of Mary. However, Augustine was not a resident of the Holy Land and therefore was not familiar with the local populations and their oral traditions.

Russian Icons

Gatrall The Russian icon has led a storied existence since entering the modern world. The vicissitudes of passage have shaped even what it means to be an icon. Within the Orthodox community, of course, the icon did not cease to be a venerated image, as it had been in Russia since the eleventh century. Yet over the past two hundred years, the icon fell into new hands.

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The Museum of Russian Icons

Advanced Workshop Annandale, Virginia: June This six-day intensive course in traditional painting techniques focuses on the art of tempera painting. The goal of this workshop is for students to understand the artistic philosophy of Byzantine iconography and to learn and practice new and advanced techniques. The workshop will concentrate on exercises in the painting of the garments and faces.

Through this process students will obtain a much deeper understanding of Byzantine iconography.

Russian Icons How to examine and evaluate, key features, how originals were made. Over the past three decades, particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Union, ever increasing numbers of Russian icons have been seen in Western countries like the United States.

Russian Lacquer Boxes are made from an art form known as Papier-Mache, a type of cardboard that is made from layers of glued paper boiled in linseed oil and then carefully dried and primed. Please visit our Fedoskino and Palekh pages to see our complete collection of beautiful Russian Lacquer Boxes. These boxes are perhaps the most cherished and collected pieces of art from the 18th and 19th centuries, just as they are cherished and collected today.

And, if you’re a newcomer to this extraordinary art form, you’ll be amazed when you learn that every line painted onto every lacquer box, every brush stroke, and every minute detail, is painstakingly done by hand by highly skilled artisans who have worked a lifetime to master this skill. Our Russian Lacquer boxes are truly the best there are, and we’re confident you’ll appreciate the level of quality provided by our Gallery. The authenticity of our Russian Lacquer Boxes is guaranteed!

See our Fedoskino and Palekh lacquer boxes. About Russian Icons Did you know that the first Russian icons were painted in the country more than a thousand years ago? Every house and all rooms in it had holy Russian Icons in their best part, called the “beautiful corner. You must clean them and wash them, keep the room tidy and only touch the icons when your conscience was spotless.

Icons were sometimes screened by draperies, so that the saints they portrayed could not “see” sins of this world.

Russian youth learn ancient craft of painting icons

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