Site map

Breifs and links on russian text.


The monograph about contemporary Russian icons was written in 1997 year. It observes sufficiently narrow temporal period of Moscow icon-painting but covers wide circle of issues concerning icon art. Its purpose was to analyze the work of modern Moscow iconographers and to illuminate the problems of church art today. It was very difficult task for me as an icon painter. I over tried to be objective in order to the work would have d scientific character and because I was slightly forced to waive my own tastes and likings. I consider that is serious shortcoming of this work. Although then its work helped me to form my own art style. And for this as and for development of contemporary church art now I hope to continue working of this theme. It will be little articles about more interesting iconographers and theological and practical problems of modern icon painting, not big scientific monograph. So the article about an artist A.Sorokin is already appeared and it is developing of this theme. I hope that my work will be necessary for many persons interested in contemporary icon painting.

I. Intruduction.

This is a briefly view on common state of the modern iconpainting and it's general directions. These directions depends on theoretical works of theologians and art critics and works of iconographers. Different famous theorists, such as p. P.Florenskyi, E.Trubetskoi, L.Uspenskyi did not recognize a realistic oil painting in the church art. They considered that sensibility prevails in it, what is peculiar to Catholic tradition, but is alien to Orthodoxy.
Therefore I do not analyze the realistic style of modern church painting in this monograph, although it is existing.
These theologians admit that the Russian icon painting of XIV c. is a summit of the church art. I.Jazykova, the modern Christian art specialist, prefers a Byzantine style because she considers that Russian high iconostasis separates a clergy and a parish. Another art critic L.Lifshits has a propensity to the smart Moscow icons of XVI-XVII c. which was not admitted as inspired and enthusiastic by E.Trubetskoi and I.Grabar, the Russian artist and the restorer.
I distinguish the following directions orientated:
1) on Byzantine art of X-XIII c.,
2) on Russian icons, painting in XIV - XV c.,
3) on Moscow icons of XVI-XVII c.,
4) on mixing of all these styles.
The general aim of the monograph is to determine which of these directions would be more prospective. Simultaneously I want to observe problems of contemporary church art and to clarify of a modern iconographer. I think that the classification of the directions based on outward signs is not right. It is necessary to analyze only the works of the best icon painters who bases on their inward theological conceptions. Therefore in my monograph I examined the bright talented iconographers as the ordinary artists because they belonged to any directions named before. Although in general, the represent here icon painters are not bad. There are any outstanding artists among them.

II. The brief history of Russian icon-painting in XX century.

This article gives a brief view on Russian icon-painting history in XX century.
The first interest to Ancient Russian icons appeared in the end of XIX cent. Tsar Nicholay II stimulated the creation of the icon-painters Chiricov and Gurjanov, who painted in the medieval manner. But that was an outward imitation of Old Russian art without any inspiration and without trying to understand form and content.
After the revolution the icon-painters V.Kirikov, A.Komarovskyi, M.Sokolova, p. G.Krug did it. They not only began to paint in Old Russian tradition, but filled their icons with prayer. Specially glads the skill of I.Vatagina, the M.Sokolova's follower.
Painting in Sofrino icons workshop makes the opposite impression, although some talented artists worked there, such as A.Lavdanskyi. A.Chashkin is most well-known iconographer of this workshop.

III. General problems of modern church art.

This chapter is about problems of an ordinary Moscow icon painter. Social aspect is the problems of relations with his client. Does a client understand the destination of iconographer? Another question: Is theological education necessary for him? After all: what price of icon is equitable? High, of cause... Icons are creations of art, but not productions for trade. There are organizing problems, such as absence of studios for combined work of artists and clear programs of studing the icon painting.
The problems of theological character exist for every iconographer. Is it necessary to copy medieval icons or to seek own style? Could an icon painter carry into an image his personality and his interpretation? And what is Canon in church art? Where are its margins?

IV. The analyze of some modern icon-painters creation.

P. Zinon and his school.

In 1970s and in the beginning of 1980s p. Zinon worked in Old Russian manner. But his icons were not interesting that time, although M.N.Sokolova judged highly about his skill. Style of his icons changed when p. Zinon began to paint in Byzantine tradition of XI-XIIth centuries. They became filled with content. It was an idea of spiritual arts before the churches division to Catholically and Orthodoxy. He created the school of icon-painting in manner of Pskov region. Now there are lot of his followers. The most talented among them are p. Amvrosyi (Gorelov), p. Andrey (Davydov), Andrey Bubnov and others.

The workshop of Simonov monastery.

Now the workshop of Simonov monastery doesnt exist. But all of artists, who worked there can be united as most talented icon-painters working in the manner of mixing styles.

Alexander Sokolov.

At the beginning of his art career A.Sokolov worked together p. Zinon. But his painting style was forming independently from p. Zinons conception. It was the mixing of medieval styles and his personal features. Sokolov's scared images are more substantial. They are filled with his own vision of spiritual reality. An icon face is in the center of his icons. As for me, I am a Sokolov's follower in my painting.

Alexander Lavdanskyi.

Alexander Lavdanskyi is wellknown icon-painter too. His icons are filled with interesting art pretentious novelties. They are energetic and musical.

Anatolyi Eteneyer.

Anatolyi Eteneyer is very difficult for understanding artist. His images are unusual and disputable. But it's impossible to deny his art's qualities.

Aleksey Vronskyi.

Aleksey Vronskyi follows the different samples of medieval icon art. Notwithstanding of his dependence, his scared images are not hollow. His credo is living council experience of Church.

Anton Yarjombek.

Anton Yarjombek is a talented modern icon-painters. His images are sincere and spontaneous.

Sergey Cherhyi.

Sergey Chernyi is a very interesting and talented artist. He hard works every image. Yt works hard and for a long time. But the results are allways remarkable. Although faces in his icons look unusual and disputable sometimes.

Vladimir Lubarskyi.

Vladimir Lubarskyi is a wall-painting master. He is a skilful composer. His wall compositions are very expressive, rhythmical and narrative. The lack of accents is the only one short-coming in his painting.

Moscow icon painting workshop.

The icons of this workshop are smart, but unspiritual. A.Rudoy is an exception. His images are laconic and very art.

Alexander Chashkin.

He is a very productive and hard-working icon-painter. But there are any sketchiness and the lack of inspiration in his icons.

V. Conclusion.

The direction of the mixing of styles is more prospective. More freedom in church tradition's frame is the most important point for modern icon-painter. That is my general inference conclusion.

Used sources.

Site desinged by Rjanitcyn D.A.

Hosted by uCoz