5 Comments

  1. Anne Ryan

    Thank you so much for this. It is the most clear commentary I have heard on this topic.

  2. Thank you for sharing your insights and for bringing this work forward. I have always admired his work. His creativity is astounding. There are pieces here I have never seen before. I am greatly inspired as an artist striving for creativity within the tradition but even more so moved and inspired in my faith as an Orthodox Christian. The images reveal great ethos and I am renewed by seeing them. Thank you for your great and fervent work.

  3. These icons are staggeringly beautiful, almost so much so that I feel I must look away before I am overwhelmed with emotion. I am especially interested in the choice of dark subjects for some of these – Judas, Cain, Peter’s despair. If we take a narrow view of icons as representing saints and heaven only, we might say that these subjects cannot be painted in an icon. One would never pray to Judas. But these images, the way Sheshukov paints them, are immensely edifying. They are full of sympathy and pain. We see ourselves in those villains, and turn away crying, like Peter himself. They inspire tears of repentance, and there can be no higher calling for liturgical art than this.

    1. Fr. Silouan Justiniano

      This work is a perfect example of how icons are ultimately meant to be Scripture in pictorial form. It shows how word and image are two sides of the one coin of embodied Tradition; complementary ways of manifesting life in Christ. Scripture exposes the totality and complexities of fallen human nature, but all is permeated with the presence of God, meant to edify, to remind us of our true calling and lead to repentance. Sensationalism falls to the wayside and we are brought to the contemplation of virtue. This should be the principle determining the choice of subjects and the way we depict them in icons. There is no doubt that these icons follow this standard. I agree, ” there can be no higher calling for liturgical art than this.”

  4. Justin

    Andrew, I had the same reaction. I had to look away from the Judas and Cain icons, as they nearly brought me to tears. Thank you Fr. Silouan for sharing Mr. Sheshukov’s work. I have often struggled with the idea of where expression fits within tradition, and I agree, this is an excellent example.

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