Press Release

Internationally Acclaimed Ukrainian Iconographer
at Christ The Saviour Church

Igor Stoyanov of Odessa, Ukraine, is painting icons for Christ The Saviour Church, 365 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey 07652-1511. Mr. Stoyanov has painted icons for churches in Belgium, France, Ukraine, and the US. While he is preparing large icons for the Church Auditorium, he is also accepting private commissions.

Igor Stoyanov worked as a physicist in the Ukraine until age 30 when he first walked into an Orthodox Church in his native land. The man's life changed dramatically as the spiritual life drew him to the Orthodox Faith and to iconography as an integral expression of the Faith. A monastic priest taught Mr. Stoyanov tenets of Orthodoxy as well as Russian/Byzantine iconography whose style goes back to at least the 11th century. Mr. Stoyanov learned the sacred traditions of iconography and the practical methods of applying gold-leaf, making paint pigments from minerals, and the preparation of the surfaces of gesso board and linen canvas to receive the egg-tempera images.

Igor Stoyanov is married and has four children. His wife, Aleutina, and his children, John, Elia, Xenia, and Apollanaria, reside in Odessa. The oldest son, John, studies liturgical metal work and has crafted gold and silver neck crosses with perfectly executed miniature sculptures of Christ, the Theotokos (Mother of God), the angels, and saints of the Church. John also prepares ornate gold and silver coverings to adorn some of his father's icons.

Mr. Stoyanov works daily at his studio at Christ The Saviour Church where he is surrounded by his icons in progress, pigments, egg-tempera paints, and gold leaf. Igor prays while creating his icons, a traditional practice of Orthodox iconographers, and listens to CD's of sacred music.

The ancient tradition of iconography originated in the days of the Apostles when Saint Luke painted the first icon. The very first icon depicts the Most Holy Theotokos holding the Christ-Child in her arms. Iconography was recognized by the Church as an expression of the theology (often called Theology in Color) of the Christian Church at the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 787 AD. This recognition is celebrated annually on the first Sunday of Great Lent. Icons are an integral part of Orthodox Christian worship and are not considered to be "religious art" as understood by Western Christianity.