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Irina Yazykova tells the dramatic history of Russian Orthodox icons in the 20th century. Despite persecution and the destruction of monasteries and much of religious life, a small group of iconographers kept the ancient story and practice alive. Here, she tells the saga of those iconographers who at great personal cost preserved the tradition from the time of the Bolshevik persecutions through to the present day, restoring and developing Russian iconography under the harshest of circumstances.
"A true story--told for the first time" This dramatic history recounts the story of an aspect of Russian culture that fought to survive throughout the 20th century: the icon. Russian iconography kept faith alive in Soviet Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. As monasteries and churches were ruined, icons destroyed, thousands of believers killed or sent to Soviet prisons and labor camps, a few courageous iconographers continued to paint holy images secretly, despite the ever-present threat of arrest. Others were forced to leave Russia altogether, and while living abroad, struggled to preserve their Orthodox traditions. Today we are witness to a renaissance of the Russian icon, made possible by the sacrifices of this previous generation of heroes.
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