VDNH's Slovo Centre teaches the symbolic language of ancient Russian icons

3 june 2021

On 6 June, the Slovo Centre for Slavic Writing at VDNH kicks off a new series on the features of symbolic imagery in Ancient Russian traditions. The course comprises of five classes. Attendance is free, but advanced registration is required.

The How to Read Icons series is being offered as part of the Knowledge. VDNH project. During the lectures, participants will discover key narratives in ancient Russian icons and the features of the symbolism they employ, including: how heaven and hell were depicted, why angels need wings for and saints have halos, what the colours and geometric shapes on the icons symbolise, as well as the meaning behind the incomprehensible inscriptions on the medieval paintings.

Lectures are taught by Nikolai Butskikh, founder of the Zelo Research Centre of the Ancient Rus' Culture, instructor of Church Slavonic and curator of ancient Russian manuscripts at the National Library of Russia.

The first class of the series will be about the Ancient Russian iconostasis and their sophisticated layout. Guests will learn about the difference between the prophets and forefathers, what the Deesis order is, how to depict the invisible and how to tell the cherubim and seraphim apart in medieval images.

Attendance is free, but advanced registration is required.

The Slovo Centre is located in the historical Pavilion No. 58, Agriculture. It regularly hosts lectures on the history of the Russian language and Ancient Russian culture, creative writing classes, workshops on calligraphy and lettering, a preparation course for the Total Dictation event and other classes. Workshops on Church Slavonic take a pride of place. They can help you learn to read, understand and even speak Church Slavonic, while learning the basic vocabulary you're most likely to see in frescoes, icons and ancient books.

All events comply with current sanitary and epidemiological standards. Visitors are required to observe social distancing and wear face masks and gloves.

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