Centenary of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

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The art of the icon in emigration

In emigration, during the first half of the 20th century, many people began to write icons because Russia was a closed country. Travel to Russia was impossible, so icons could not be purchased there. However, there was a huge need for new icons as many Russian churches were built outside of Russia during this period. There were also many individual devotees who desired to have icons for praying in their homes.

To meet this need, many iconographers set out to make icons using the traditional techniques of ancient icons. In this section, we present the main iconographers of the archdiocese. They often taught these techniques during weekly iconography workshops or intensive courses, for a very large audience often outside the Orthodox communities, arousing an interest in iconography on the part of many Catholics and even lay individuals interested in the art. artistic aspect of icon art.

The city of Paris (paris-atelier.org) has been organizing such workshops for more than 50 years in which Madame Elisabeth Ozoline (which can be seen in the Orthodoxy program of 06/13/1982 below) as well as the father George Drobot then George Drobot-fils, who currently continues this teaching in Paris.

Father deacon Maciej Leszczynski teaches at Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral as part of the "Saint Andrew Rublev Orthodox Iconography School" with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna. The teaching covers the essential subjects for understanding the meaning of the icon, its specific language and its liturgical function in the tradition of the Orthodox Church. Over three years, students receive instruction in Orthodox theology, iconology, Church history, liturgy, church architecture, and art history in general. The practical courses include academic drawing, iconographic drawing, painting, calligraphy, as well as various exercises essential to the acquisition of methods and techniques specific to different traditions and iconographic schools.

The icon is not just a religious image; above all, it is a liturgical and theological phenomenon. An icon painter must be familiar with the different aspects of theology: he can thus better understand the very nature of Christian iconographic representation, and work with full awareness of what he is doing.