Christian Icons at the “Saints of the Undivided Church” Exhibition
Several days ago, the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus opened a unique exhibition of Christian icons depicting saints revered by both Orthodox and Catholic believers. All the hand-painted icons put on display were created by contemporary iconographers from around the world. It is interesting that the “Saints of the Undivided Church” is the first international exhibition of Christian icons of its kind, and the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus was chosen not by accident. The fact is that even though Orthodoxy is the principal religion of Belarus, people living there have been actually practicing a wide range of religions freely and peacefully for centuries, so the choice is justified.
The National Art Museum
Established in 1939, the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus is the largest museum in the country, located in the center of Minsk, at 20 Lenin Street. Its collection includes more than 30,000 works of art that can be found on exposition at different branches of the Museum and its depositories. Among the highlights are collections of ancient Belarusian art, featuring some of the most valuable early Christian icons, Belarusian art of the 19th – 20th centuries, Russian art of the 18th – early 20th centuries, and also European art of the 16th – 20th centuries.
Saints of the Undivided Church
The “Saints of the Undivided Church” exhibition of Catholic and Orthodox Christian icons of saints was organized in collaboration with the All Saints Parish in Minsk and the Artos Fellowship in Support of Contemporary Christian Culture. Its primary goals are to foster cultural exchange between Christian communities of Russia and Europe, contribute to the development of Christian culture, and draw public attention to the modern religious icons of saints.
The “Saints of the Undivided Church” exhibition features a variety of religious icon paintings by well-known contemporary iconographers, such as Archimandrite Zinon (Theodore), Anton Dajneko (Belarus), Oleg Shurkus (Russia), George Kordis (Greece), Todor Mitrovic (Serbia), as well as icons by lesser-known painters. Moreover, in addition to traditional hand-painted icons on wood panels, there are also works in ceramics, wood carving, mosaic, encaustic, and prints, many of which are displayed for the first time. The “Saints of the Undivided Church” exhibition of Christian icons of saints is on view at the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus through February 20, 2018. However, it is expected to go on an international tour.