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St. Alypius of the Caves Painting

Yuriy Hrechyn


Painting, Acrylic on Wood

Size: 7.9 W x 16.5 H x 1.2 D in

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About The Artwork

Venerable Alypius the Iconographer of the Kiev Caves Acrylic & gold leaf on wood panel 41.8 x 19.6 x 2.3 cm 2011 Saint Alypius, one of the first and finest of Ukrainian iconographers, from his youth lived a life of asceticism at the Kiev Caves monastery. He studied the iconography of the Greek masters, and from the year 1083 beautified the Caves monastery church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. Saint Alypius was never famous, and he painted icons only to serve God. He was ordained a hieromonk, and was known for working miracles even in his lifetime. Saint Alypius healed a Kievan man suffering from leprosy and decay of the body by anointing the wounds of the sick man with the paints he used for the painting of icons. Many of his icons were glorified by miracles, and sometimes angels helped him in the holy task of painting icons. A certain man of Kiev who had built a church, once gave two monks of the Caves a commission to have icons painted for it. The monks concealed the money and said nothing to Saint Alypius about it. After waiting a long time for the work to be completed, the man went to the igumen to complain about Saint Alypius. Only then did they discover that he had not been told of the commission. When they brought the boards provided by the customer, it turned out that beautiful icons had already been painted on them. Another time, when Saint Alypius lay deathly ill, an angel painted an icon of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos for him. On August 17 (around the year 1114), an angel came to receive the soul of Saint Alypius, and he was buried in the Near Caves. The first three fingers of Saint Alypius’s right hand were positioned together, and the last two were bent to the palm. It seems that he died while signing himself with the Sign of the Cross. One of the icons painted by Saint Alypius survives from the time of Saints Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves, and is now preserved in the Tretyakov Gallery. This is the Yaroslavl Oranta Icon.

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Acrylic on Wood

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:7.9 W x 16.5 H x 1.2 D in

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I practice as an iconographer for over 15 years, after I have graduated from the Sacral Art Department of the Lviv National Academy of Arts (Ukraine). Having achieved Master’s Degree (2007), I proceeded to Postgraduate school, combining scholarship with teaching. My Thesis is devoted to the iconography of Old-Testament Trinity in the ancient Ukrainian art. In my art activity I am seeking the new, relevant in our age, artistic means of expression of the Orthodox icon tradition, while maintaining the fundamental principles of this tradition.

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