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Russian iconography
Sister Faith Riccio (sitting) and Ksenia Pokrovsky, Russian iconography, 2007; Sharon, Massachusetts; Photography by Billy Howard
Sister Faith Riccio (sitting) and Ksenia Pokrovsky, Russian iconography, 2007

Sharon, Massachusetts
Photography by Billy Howard
The Holy Trinity; Apprenticeship - Russian iconography; 2003; Faith Riccio (b. 1954); Orleans, Massachusetts; Wood, gesso, pigments, gold leaf; 30-1/2 x 25-3/8 x 1-1/4 in.Collection of Sister Faith Riccio, The Community of Jesus
Ksenia Pokrovsky applying paint; Apprenticeship - Russian iconography; 2001:
Practice drawing; Apprenticeship - Russian iconography; 2006; Faith Riccio (b. 1954)
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Ksenia Pokrovsky
Sharon, MA
Web Site
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Faith Riccio
Orleans, MA
The centuries-old artistic tradition of iconography requires the application of very specific techniques and image representations that have been passed down from artist to artist through the ages. Ksenia Pokrovsky is widely credited with reviving the writing of traditional Russian icons. She learned at a time when Russia nearly lost the old method of writing icons, due to Soviet restrictions on religious expression. Ksenia was encouraged to learn in 1967 by a priest, Reverend Aleksander Men, whom she considers her "spiritual father." Students from all over the world come to study with Ksenia Pokrovsky.

Sister Faith Riccio lives in an abbey on Cape Cod, where they are interested in keeping old art forms alive. She explains how she came to icon writing, ". . . My prioress asked if I would learn icons. I started out kind of on my own . . . I found [Ksenia] on the Internet. And she said, 'Well, you really don 't know what you 're doing, ' in her just wonderful, diplomatic way. I said, 'No, I don 't. And I 'll keep doing that if you don 't help me. ' " The two were awarded a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship in 2005. Sister Faith spent significant time in the Pokrovsky household working under Ksenia's guidance. Ksenia considers Sister Faith one of her best students, "She has the time to devote to this; she works very hard. "
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