Iconography: Part III – Russian

In 13 History on 2011/11/11 at 12:16 PM

Theotokos (using nielo technique: gold & silver casing)

Russian Iconography
The Venerable Alypius of the Kiev Caves painted a number of icons of the Mother of God, some of which still survive.  These wondrous icons followed the Byzantine tradition in Iconography which inspires sorrow for sin and evokes a desire to pray before such Icons.

The holy hierarch Peter, who later became Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia, painted icons, some of which were until recently found in the Cathedral of the Dormition in Moscow.  The holy hierarch, Alexis, established a school of iconography in Novgorod; many of those icons have been preserved.

Unfortunately, the Orthodox movement of iconography started to collapse when Russia began to be infiltrated by Western influence.  Not all that was Western was good for Russia; the West also wrought horrible moral damage at that time, for the Russians began to accept, along with useful knowledge, much of what was alien to the Orthodox way of life, to the Orthodox faith.  The educated portion of society soon separated itself from the life of the ordinary people and from the Orthodox Church, which all was regulated by ecclesiastical norms.

Images of the Western type began to appear which, although artistically beautiful, were completely lacking in sanctity and devoid of spirituality.  Those were not Icons.  They were distortions of icons, exhibiting a lack of comprehension of what an icon actually is supposed to be.

If you are not familiar with icons, visit the church of the Holy Trinity  on East Boulevard or St. Nektarios  on Kuykendall Road.  In both churches see icons in an actual church setting.  It will be a most rewarding experience.


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