Valamo iconographer alipio: icon is not a «rubber stamp», she is unique

© RIA Novosti / Yulia Chicherina alipioValamo iconographer alipio: icon is not a «rubber stamp», she is unique© RIA Novosti / Yulia Chicherina

Monk Alypy those who have seen the faces of the saints written by him called «modern Raphael». Now revived after a long break icon workshop of Valaam, where he works, has formed his own style. Experts consider it canonical. He was adopted in ancient Byzantium: some conventions, sketchy, without further details. A small room, where the image is located on the second floor of the Vladimir monastery. The RIA Novosti correspondent Yulia Chicherina managed to meet the painter and find out the subtleties of his craft.

— Only four people. But the main thing — not the number of people and room size, and the fact that Balaam began to revive iconography, which in difficult for our country ceased to exist. It is gratifying that she is now reborn.

In our work we use the same technologies that were used in the twelfth century. I write mostly tempera — natural paint. Do everything it rubs and triturated with egg yolk. Its main feature — it does not burn. It is tested for centuries, can not be said about modern paints. Of course, writing this tempera hard just to get the hand should be at least four years. Tempera paint is transparent, and that it looked bright, it is necessary, gaining color to pass at least five layers, and sometimes more. The Board under the icon — lime and pine.

Each icon has its own character, its own history and its own inner light, which the wizard tries to pass through your vision of an image.

— On the island, I just a year. When I was 22, and behind them I already had an art education, I decided to leave monastic life. And for more than 30 years working for the benefit of monasteries. More than 19 years have lived in the city of Pskov in the beginning of my abode became the Pskovo-Pechersk monastery, and then worked in the Mirozhsky monastery. But the iconography became involved immediately.

Not always those who enter a convent, do «close» to them. So what happened with alypius: after the arrival to the monastery he was asked about what he most likes to do, what he said about painting. After hearing rave story Creator on the painting, he was sent to work in… the barn, learn a new craft. It turned out that «everything about you, you must love», and only then the person can open a new world and to know their capabilities.

© RIA Novosti / Yulia Chicherina the icon workshop of ValaamValamo iconographer alipio: icon is not a «rubber stamp», she is unique© RIA Novosti / Yulia Chicherina the icon workshop of Valaam

— What qualities must a person have in order to write the faces of the saints, which in this case is the most difficult?

— The most important thing is prayer, which accompanies man in any occupation, especially in such matters as the writing of icons. One of the biggest challenges is that you pass the image is not from nature, but from his heart. It looks as it is your soul. You’re taking on Board all the love and all the beauty gathered in prayer. Therefore before to begin work, we always do.

— What was the most complex iconographic work has been in your life?

Is the icon of the Mother of God «vsetsaritsa». She is now in the altar of the Holy-Transfiguration Cathedral, the Annunciation chapel. At its creation took seven years. It is quite large: height of about seven meters, a width of two. Of course, this work was difficult.

One of the lungs is considered to work on the «window» icon, which is located in the frame. Will not be mistaken if I say that it is difficult to paint the «sky» — the arches of the temple. Not every master is taken for such work: it is quite tedious, does not tolerate mistakes and challenging physically. For example, right now I’m in the «window» — write the face of St. Xenia of Petersburg. This icon will be in one of the churches of Pskov.

— Do your work the beauty of Balaam?

— Painting is a mystery. All that is while working around the artist, causing direct echo in his work. And nature on Holy island is always present in the images and the mood that it sets the images of saints. By the way, I really like Japanese graphics: blur, silhouette and line — all these details are coming very close to icon painting.

© RIA Novosti / Andrey to Archivability in potencjalny monastery on lake LadogaValamo iconographer alipio: icon is not a «rubber stamp», she is unique© RIA Novosti / Andrey to Archivability in potencjalny monastery on lake Ladoga

— Each of your work has its own character. And are there any repetition?

— The icon can’t repeat, she does not stamp. Here you see two images of St. Xenia of Petersburg (shows on their work. — Approx. ed.) contemplate: the face one, but still they are different. They play a role of many factors: color, mood, inspiration, emotions or, conversely, exultation in heart, the sun — the deep feelings. But there have been cases that before the writing of the Holy face to me, he was in a dream. Waking up, hurried to the workshop to capture and transmit the image.

— Can you divide your life into before and after you become a monk?

In 1990-x years, I graduated from the Simferopol art school and decided to leave the monastery. Then I often stayed in the «bespoleznie», that is, without thoughts — not moving forward, learning and learning something new… Like life stopped and I froze along with it.

There are penalties, but there are advantages. Sometimes I have seen this condition helps you stand «inside», without any thoughts, writing a paper, and your hand someone is. This state is blessed. You pass out, and then see the result and admire every stroke.

Got to the monastery. I can say that my development as a painter helped the prayer of the elders — Archpriest Nikolai Guryanov and monk of the Pskov-caves monastery Archimandrite John (krestiankin). When meeting with them I asked them for prayers.

— And what, in your opinion, the main purpose of the icons?

In iconography, the most important is the Foundation: purity of heart. The icon acts in a role of assistant in achieving the main goal of love, kindness and warmth. The icon is the art of arts, is more than creativity. During operation, we pray.

The monastic thing is to convey the inner purity of the heart. People need to see it in yourself — there is an abyss in which you’ll find the answers to all the questions. How people will clean your heart, so the icon becomes miraculous.

© RIA Novosti / Yulia Chicherina the icon workshop of ValaamValamo iconographer alipio: icon is not a «rubber stamp», she is unique© RIA Novosti / Yulia Chicherina the icon workshop of Valaam

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