Art News

Imprinting the Divine: Byzantine and Russian icons from Houston’s Menil Collection

HOUSTON, TX.- Imprinting the Divine showcases the Menil’s collection of icons, widely regarded by scholars as one of the most important of its kind in the United States. Featured in the exhibit are more than 60 works originating from Greek, Balkan and Russian cultures and spanning 1,200 years, from the sixth to the eighteenth centuries. Imprinting the Divine explores how this diverse set of icons transcends historic and cultural contexts. Orthodox Christianity developed in the Near East during the rule of the Byzantine Empire. Greek, Russian, Romanian, Serbian, and Bulgarian Orthodox churches maintained a tradition of icon painting rooted in Byzantium but each expressed it in distinctive ways. Transcending time and place through a delicate balance of tradition and innovation, these images of saintly figures and divine events were designed to imprint their holy subjects on the human mind. Though largely overlooked by Weste