Thursday, February 19, 2009

Icon


An illustration of the adaptability of just about any system of symbolism; a Joseph Stalin/Virgin Mary icon, hanging in a church in Strelny:
The church's Beneficiary Evstafy Zhakov said the legend has it that Stalin would often hold discourse with Blessed Matrona of Moscow. And that is the scene depicted on the icon. However, church visitors didn't think it was a good idea and the icon was placed in the church's remote corner.

Beneficiary Zhakov explained that he sees Stalin as one of the nation's fathers, no matter how bad he was. He does not believe Stalin was an atheist.

Someone on the Mediev-L discussion list points out that Stalin has his back to the Virgin and seems to be striding away. Oh, well, he wasn't Russian, either.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Anne Gilbert said...

During WWII, Stalin *did* rope the Russian Orthodox Church into the war effort there. Never mind that previously, he'd happily had thousands of believers and priests thrown into gulags, and everybody kknew it. With these facts in mind, I think this icon, or whatever it is, is, um, ambiguous.
Anne G

4:13 PM  

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