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Opening of Exhibition “Images of Russian Saints in Literature and Icon Painting”

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Opening of Exhibition “Images of Russian Saints in Literature and Icon Painting”

On May 22 National Library of Udmurt Republic is staging a guest exhibition “Images of Russian Saints in Literature and Icon Painting” timed to the Day of Slavic Written Language and Culture and the 700th Anniversary of the Venerable Sergius of Radonezh. The opening of the exhibition will take place at 16 pm at Saint Michael's Cathedral, Izhevsk.

The canonization of religious zealots in Rus’ dates almost as far back as the Christianization itself. Tracing back the history of this rite we realize how Christianity influenced the life of society, how church and socio-cultural environment were interconnected. The canonization of saints in the Russian Orthodox Church has always exceeded the ecclesiastical limits — “it was not merely a glorification of holiness of the deceased zealots and martyrs but a kind of a strong moral message to the society” (A. Makarkin).


The first section of the exhibition — “The Righteous Deeds of the Russian Saints”displays publications about life, views and deeds of the Russian saints from the Christianization of Rus’ to the 20th century (V. V. Gritskov “The Christianization of Rus’”; G. P. Fedotov “Saints of Ancient Rus’”; a two-volume publication by the Russian Academy of Sciences “Shrines and Sanctity in Life of the Russian People”; E. N. Poselyanin “The Russian Zealots of the 18th Century”; N. S. Gordienko “The New Orthodox Saints”; Hieromonk Damaskin “Martyrs, Confessors and Zealots of Piety of the Russian Orthodox Church of the 20th Century” and some others).


The second section of the exhibition — “A Line About the Life of the Saint” — reveals ecclesiastical-biographical publications, folklore and fiction comprising literary images of saints (a fundamental literary monument “The Primary Chronicle” (aka “The Tale of Bygone Years”); “The Sermon on Law and Grace” by the Kievan Metropolitan Hilarion; “The Story About Boris and Gleb”; “The Lives of Saints: 1000 Years of Russian Sanctity”; O. Forsh, G. Boyadzhiev “Vladimir the Great: a Historical Heroic Play”; V. V. Danilevsky “Dmitry Donskoy”; “Folk Tales About God, Saints and Pops” and some other). Publications about Sergius of Radonezh stand out among other hagiographical publications held by the Division of Rare and Valuable Publications of National Library of Udmurt Republic: scientific facsimile edition “The Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible” outlining good deeds of Saint Sergius; beautifully printed “The Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh, the Miracle-Worker” (by G. Aksenov) — a collection of 100 miniatures from “The Illustrated Chronicle” of the 16th century.


The third section of the exhibition — “Visual Images of Russian Saints” — comprises publications on general characteristic of the Russian icon painting, peculiarities of its iconic imagery, information about icon painters (V. N. Lazarev “Russian Icon Painting from its Origins to the Early 16th Century”; exhibition catalog of the State Hermitage Museum “Russian Hagiographical Icons: 16th - early 20th Centuries”; “Tver Icons: 13th-17th Centuries”; “Palekh Icon Painting” etc.). Among other items on display are art history publications, albums, journal articles.


The exhibition is expected to open with the oration about one of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most highly venerated saints Venerable Sergius of Radonezh by Archpriest of Saint Michael's Cathedral Roman Voskresenskikh.


The event will be participated by Deputy Head of the Administration of External Policy of the Administration of the Government of the Udmurt Republic S. I. Ilyinskiy, Doctor of Philological Sciences, Professor of the Udmurt State University G. V. Mosaleva, Chief Scientific Worker of the Udmurt Republican Museum of Fine Arts E. L. Sterkhova, teacher of the Republican School of Arts V. N. Morozov.


All are welcome to attend.