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Heavenly World on the Earth

From September 30, 2016 to January 30, 2017 the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus features the exhibition Heavenly World on the Earth. It presents 17th –21st c. works of sacred art: icons of Orthodox, Catholic and Greek Catholic churches, altarpieces, artistic weaving and liturgical items.

The exhibition displays sacred images from the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus that are placed in chronological order up to the 19th century. 21st century art is being presented by painting of modern icon painters, working in ancient traditions of Byzantium and Balkan countries.

The exhibition curators aimed to demonstrate art monuments of different confessions, their similarities and differences in interpretation of religious subjects, as well as to show a common base of the Christian art formation.

A great part of Belarusian icons of iconostasis’ rows, including abovementioned icons, are painted in Byzantine iconographic traditions that had been widely spread on Belarusian lands.

A number of paintings from St. Brigitte Catholic monastery in Grodno (the mid-17thc.) are marked by influence of European and in particular Flemish art school on local icon painters. Traditionally sculpture and gilded carving constitute an essential part of Catholic churches decoration. The exposition features the XVII c. examples of this decoration from Grodno Bridgettine Cloister.

Sacral images give us an idea of peculiarities of the Belarusian art formation within close interaction between Western and Eastern cultures. Modern Belarusian icon painters adopt new techniques and subjects, bringing in sacral art their own vision and understanding of the heavenly world that is closely associated with the earthly life.