I. VIDEOS IN ENGLISH
ANCIENT RUSSIAN ICONS—a real treat for all icon-lovers—is another in the ST. INNOCENT/FIREBIRD Videos' series of English voice-overs of outstanding Russian-made videos about the Orthodox Faith and culture, now accessible to the English-speaking world. This beautiful and sensitive video emphasizes the meaning of icons, with a text that does justice to the beauty of the icons, churches and Russian village scenes shown, and is an indispensable treat for all icon-lovers, and lovers of the Orthodox Faith and Russian culture.
Produced for the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, this video depicts many icons in their collection, which include some of the most beloved of all Russian icons, including: the Vladimir and Pimen icons of the Mother of God; icons by Theophanes the Greek (Transfiguration and the Novgorod fresco of Christ the Savior) and St. Andrei Rublev (Holy Trinity, and the group of the Archangel Michael, Christ the Savior and St. Paul); Nativity of Christ; Resurrection of Christ; Annunciation; and various saints—St. Nicholas, St. George, St. Sergius, plus many others. Other icons not in their collection are also shown.
This delightful video explains the role of icons in traditional Russian Orthodox life, and briefly contrasts the humanistic religious art of the West with the transcendent art of Russian icons. While viewing many magnificent icons, the narrator demonstrates how ancient icons seek to portray the Divine world, rather than the earthly world, by techniques such as reversed perspective and by depicting things that are invisible. Since the Spirit is incorporeal, the spiritual realm is shown as flat, rather than 3-dimensional. The Eternal realm beyond time and space is conveyed by showing sequential events as occurring all at the same time. The World of Light is conveyed by having no shadows in icons. The Beauty of Divine Truth and Goodness is expressed in the Beauty of icons. The profound miracle of icons reveals that each person is made in the image and likeness of God, and is a part of the Unified Divine Order of God’s world.
Also shown here are the painstaking work of restoring old icons, darkened with age, and the techniques of creating icons, beginning with the preparation of the board and paints. Of excellent technical quality, this lovely video is a real gem and a marvelous educational tool.