Well, dear readers, I’m back in the States. Nevertheless, I’m going to try to keep sending Georgianness your way…am a bit too jetlagged for verbal communication, so instead I proffer a small variety of contemporary Georgian icons. Georgia is in the midst of major church renovation and construction, so there are plenty of examples of recent icons. Below I include pictures that I took as well as things I lifted from the internet (its pretty clear which ones were taken in the dark from five feet away and which were not…)
Only rarely was I in a church where I felt comfortable photographing (photos in church are generally reserved for occasions, and wanting to blog is no such occasion), and so there are some images which I saw but couldn’t later find, alas…. One such icon was in Batumi, at the St. Nicholas Church. St. Nicholas used to be a Greek Orthodox Church, was only briefly closed during Communism (remarkably, only during the early 30’s and into the mid 40’s), and is now a Georgian Church, but which holds bilingual services in Russian and Georgian (I have no sense of how unusual that is, but it struck me as particular). Anyway, I found a couple shots of the interior of the church from someone interneters flickr account, but I can’t find the icon that most startled me when I was there–an icon of St. Matrona, a very beloved recent saint of Moscow, but done in a Georgian style with Georgian lettering (for the frescoes, see here). This iconic (no pun intended) image of modern Russian piety in a Georgian style made me a bit hopeful that if there are any inroads for stronger Georgian-Russian reconciliation and political or social dialogue, it may very well come through the Church. But I digress….I shall let the images speak for themselves from now on.
To see some images of the presentation of this icon in the Church (of the Life Giving Pillar), check out the images on this site: http://burdulebi.blogspot.com/2010/09/300-2.html
I could go on and on, but I’ll leave you with just onle last image in honor of today’s (old calendar) feast: