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26 Feb 2019

Russian 17th century icons to be on view in Minsk

Russian 17th century icons to be on view in Minsk

MINSK, 26 February (BelTA) – The exhibition “The Two Worlds of the Russian Icon Painting. The 17th Century Specimen from the Museum of Russian Icons” will open in the National Art Museum on 22 March, BelTA has learned from Yelena Karpenko, head of the museum's department of old Belarusian art.

“The exhibition will feature 39 works of the 17th century. This is one of the most controversial periods in icon painting which witnessed the shift from old Russian traditions to the realistic art, the growing interest to the human personality and the world around, and the influence of the European painting culture. All these tendencies added complexity to icon painting,” Yelena Karpenko noted. “The best Russian icon painters were working in the workshop in the Kremlin Armory in Moscow. The workshop introduced the so called lifelike style. The mid 17th century also saw the split of the Old Believers movement from the Russian Orthodox Church. Old Believers were against the reforms of that time, they honored and preserved old icons. This split signified the division in the Russian church art,” she added.

The Museum of Russian Icons possesses a lot of items which show the diversity of the 17th century Russian art. They include icons created earlier in the traditional style as well as the new style of the Kremlin Armory of mid and late 17th century. The holdings of the museum also comprise a lot of pieces from the leading icon painting centers of the Volga Region, Yaroslavl, Tver, Rostov, Pskov, Ryazan, as well as of the northern regions of Russia.

“This will be the first time our museum will run a project which is dedicated to one epoch but demonstrates such a vast diversity of the icon painting trends. I believe it will attract both specialists in icon painting and just art amateurs. We have already cooperated with the Museum of Russian Icons in 2013, when it participated in our exhibition “Orthodox World. The Image of Christ in the Iconography of Eastern European Countries”. During the upcoming exhibition, the heads of the two museums will meet to discuss further joint projects,” Yelena Karpenko said.

The exhibition “The Two Worlds of the Russian Icon Painting. The 17th Century Specimen from the Museum of Russian Icons” will run till 21 June.

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