5 November 2018 in Rostov opened the exhibition “Faces of Russian icons. A window into the heavenly world,” which exhibited a unique collection of icons from the collections of the Rostov regional Museum of fine arts, as well as from the archive of the Rostov diocese, reports patriarhiei.
The exhibition showcased rare monuments of icon painting of XVIII — early XX centuries. Until now, this collection was unknown to the General public and have never been exhibited. The exhibition introduces the viewer with a vast valuable collection of icons from the funds of the diocese, preserved in the postwar years in the vaults of the temples region.
Most of the icons of XIX century, belongs to painters of Central Russia and the North. The largest group picturesque monuments, images of the blessed virgin Mary, the most revered icon of the virgin and child — “Tikhvin”, “Iver”, “Smolensk”, “Theodore”. The exhibition presents a variety of the mother of God icon “the unburnt Bush”, “Joy of All who sorrow”, “the Tenderness of evil hearts”, “the Holy virgin”.
A special section is devoted to images of the Savior “Vernicle”, “the Lord Almighty”, “Spas Good silence”, “Resurrection”, “descent from the cross”.
At the opening ceremony the Director of the Rostov regional Museum of fine arts Svetlana Cruz, in particular, said, “the Audience will see beautiful faces, of course, similar in kind, but unique. The Orthodox Church understands the icon, not only as a special kind of art, but a visible embodiment of the faith. Icon is a wonderful world, which reveals to us the reality of Divine being, the icon requires a special relationship, because it is not only an artistic phenomenon, it truly is a special live in the temple and only in prayer reveals all that is embodied in the icon”.
“Thanks to the icon we differently can look at our world, to look from the earthly world to the heavenly world. I hope everyone who came to the exhibition looking at the icons, can touch the Sky and through this experience to make yourself better in the earthly life,” explained the title of the exhibition Svetlana Cruz.
Present at the opening ceremony of the Metropolitan Merkury of Rostov and Novocherkassk also addressed the audience with welcoming speech: “I am very pleased that during the celebration of national unity Day, we are opening this wonderful exhibition — the fruit of joint efforts of the regional fine arts Museum and the archive of the Rostov diocese. Largely due to the creation of the archive and the interest of artists, restorers of the Church icon-painting and applied arts until we reached a huge reservoir of these monuments. Unfortunately, much is lost and destroyed, and what we now have is the grain of the great culture that was treasured by the Church. Thank God, the time has come when the Museum community, and the Church can serve the promotion of genuine religious art. For me is very important our cooperation, what we do one common cause, that we are of one mind, ready to help each other in the preservation of these unique monuments and their restoration, we make them available to people. Through this work we become closer to each other, leaving aside ideological differences, we find more uniting than ratnasara, and this contributes to the great and wonderful art.”
The head of Donskoy the Archdiocese expressed hope for further fruitful cooperation of the diocese and the Rostov regional Museum of fine arts.
On behalf of the Governor of the Rostov region participants of the ceremony were welcomed by the Minister of culture of the Rostov region Vladimir Babin.
Drevlehranilische Rostov diocese hieromonk Gabriel (Zvyagintsev) emphasized the special role of the Russian Orthodox Church in the preservation of ancient monuments of iconography: “We want to show society that the Church is doing a lot for the protection of cultural heritage, restoring of works of icon painting and applied arts of the temple and opens them to a wide audience. For an Orthodox Christian an icon is perhaps one of the most close items, it is sacred and carries the worshipers in front of him the Prototype”.
The exhibition was visited by the head of the diocesan information Department Archpriest Daniil Azizov, head of the diocesan Department for cooperation of Church and society Archpriest Valery Voloshchuk, press Secretary of the head of Donskoy the Archdiocese Igor Petrovsky, Director of the icon painting Department of the don theological Seminary father Alexander Litvinenko.
Before the opening ceremony, guests made the mixed choir of the don theological Seminary under the direction of Xenia Zhukova.
The exhibition is dedicated to the XXIII Demetrius educational readings.