Marian Icon Lecture

St. Luke paints the first icon of the Mother of God. By the hand of Marek Czarnecki.

This week our iconographer in residence, Marek Czarnecki, returns to Saint Meinrad for another week of work on icons for a portable iconostasis. He will be offering the following lecture Monday night, April 19, at 6:30 CT, available by live stream.

“Mary, the Mother of God in Icons: From the Catacombs to Today”

Scholars have classified over 600 distinct prototypes for icons of the Mother of God. How can this multiplicity point to only one source, the first-century Miryam of Nazareth? The first Christians responded to her intuitively with the earliest catacomb frescoes. The earliest Church validated her importance in biographical icons narrating her participation in the life of Christ.

Icons representing her solely with the Christ Child expressed formal Marian dogma, beginning with her first title as “Mother of God.” As an intercessor, her icons catalogued every possible human need. Other icons commemorated the sites of miracles or apparitions, while new prototypes continue to be revealed and painted into the present.

The public is welcome to join the lecture at this link. You can also view the livestream on Saint Meinrad’s YouTube channel, Twitter or Facebook page, as well as the Saint Meinrad Graduate Theology Facebook page.

The recording of his March lecture, on icons of the Passion and Resurrection, can be found here.

An iconographer and artist, Czarnecki teaches and writes icons out of his liturgical arts studio, Seraphic Restorations, in Meriden, CT. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1987 from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and has exhibited his work in many American and European cities.

Czarnecki is coming to Saint Meinrad as part of a grant-funded project to create six icons for a moveable iconostasis for the school chapel. An iconostasis is a screen of religious paintings that separates the nave from the sanctuary in a church. During his time at Saint Meinrad as an artist-in-residence, he will give lectures on topics related to his work.

Among the honors Czarnecki has received is the National Council for Polish Culture’s Jan de Rosen Artistic Achievement Award. In 2000, he was awarded the Southern New England Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Award, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, to study under master iconographer Ksenia Pokrovsky. Twice he was awarded the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Painting Fellowship.

This program is made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.

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