The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition: Modern Icons by Alexander Chashkin

afiFebruary 26 - March 20, 2016
Yasnaya Polyana Gallery 

February 26 at 16:00, the exhibition Modern Icons by Alexander Chashkin will open at the Yasnaya Polyana Gallery. The exhibition is scheduled for the artist‘s 70s birthday and will show the collection of his best works done during the last twenty years.

Old traditions and modernity are mixed in Alexander Chashkin’s works; he creates images that can  easily be understood by our contemporaries. Each of these holy images – the Savior or Virgin Mary, Saint Sergius of Radonezh or Saint Antipas – carries devotional power that has always been perceived as a spiritual guard and a heavenly mantel in Russia.  


Irina Yazykova, a well known art historian, writes the following about the artist‘s work: “Alexander Chashkin‘s style is characterized by a powerful temperament and individual manner which are always easy to recognize. His images are born from the depth of his personal life and faith and his creative boldness and understanding of the utmost mystery of the Divine plan for man and the world. His works cannot leave the spectator unmoved.”

Not only an icon-painter, but also a muralist, Alexander Chashkin took part in creating frescoes for the Iveron Chapel on Red Square, St. George’s Church on Poklonnaya Gora, the Monastery of John the Apostle near Ryazan, and the Svyatogorsk Monastery in Donetsk Region. One of his early and significant works is frescoes in St. Nicholas’s Church in Kochaki near Yasnaya Polyana, which the Tolstoy family attended. With his deep feeling of the nature of church painting as a continuation of architecture, the artist not only decorates the interior of the church, but makes the wall penetrable for the spiritual image, which seemingly shows through the surface, transforming it and creating a visually true-to-life world.  The exhibition will also include photo-panels of fragments of the artist’s church frescoes in Russia, Serbia, the Ukraine, and the USA.


Alexander Chashkin is one of Russia‘s leading icon-painters and most respected masters. He was born in 1946 on Lake Issyk-Kul. He graduated from one-year courses at the V.I. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute and studied under the famous artist Vasily Sitnikov. He began painting icons in 1984 after a meeting with the well-known icon-painter archimandrite Xenon. Chashkin showed his worth not only as an outstanding artist, but also as a talented teacher; he headed the Church History Painting Department at the Russian Orthodox Institute of St. John the Apostle for eleven years. His students now actively work in the field of church art. 


The exhibition will last until March 20. It can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 19:00. Cost of an entrance ticket: free of charge for visitors under 16; 15 rubles for a discounted ticket; 30 rubles for a full-price ticket. Cost of a guided visit: 30 rubles for visitors under 16 and for a discounted ticket; 45 rubles for a full-price ticket. 

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