5 Comments

  1. Fr. Patrick O’Rourke

    When I first saw photos of St. Mary in Hunt Valley after he had completed the dome, I was amazed by his powerful combination of historic precedent – for example the influence from Panselinos’s frescoes at Protaton on Athos – and a dynamic creativity within the received tradition. I knew that if I ever had a chance, I’d try to hire him for any monumental project. By the grace of God and with the help of our beautification committee, and at the approval of the entire parish, Dionysi will arrive in Salt Lake City next week to begin work on our dome, and then later in the summer for our Apse.

  2. As a church designer, I’m acutely aware of a shortage we have in this country – that of iconographers who are really competent to paint the walls of a large church. What a wonderful resource Dionysios is, living here in the USA. He paints solidly in the Byzantine tradition (as opposed to Slavic), so his work is perfect for the many large Greek and Antiochian churches that are being built nowadays. And with such rich pretty colors, his work is beautiful in a way that is particularly accessible to the eyes of Americans and converts. I’m sure he has a long and prolific career ahead of him!

    1. Nicholas Roman

      Could you articulate here some of the major differences between Byzantine tradition and Slavic that you eluded to in your comment? I thought that the Slavic tradition was based on the Byzantine tradition.

      1. Certainly. On the whole, iconography in Slavic and Greek lands is very similar, and is best understood as regional variation within the same religious art tradition. Nevertheless, when considering large numbers of historical examples over many centuries, we can certainly observe some different tendencies that prevail in the different nations. Iconography in Greek churches tends to be more graphic in style, with sharper edges, higher contrast, and more saturated and opaque coloring. Slavic iconography tends to be softer, paler in color, more transparent. Many people perceive Greek iconography as more intense and assertive, and Russian iconography as more gentle and introspective. These are generalizations of course, and there many exceptions, but it is consistent enough that most people can see the difference, and it is common for churches to want iconography in the style that fits their ethnic self-image. The Greek Orthodox commonly call the iconography they prefer the “Byzantine Tradition”. The reality of that title is sometimes debatable because modern Greek iconography does not always conform so well to the style we see in actual Byzantine art (pre-1453). In practice, the word Byzantine is often used to mean “not too Russian looking”.

  3. John Morariu

    ABSOLUTLY awe inspiring . Proof that the tradition lives and that the new paradigm is adherence to the tradition of iconography.

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