Artist Profiles

Artist:

Kiryakos Lazarides

Region:

Europe and Eurasia

Country:

Greece

Media/General:

Painting

Medium of Work:

Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Icon painting

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2018

About:

Eastern Orthodox icon paintings are both sacred and drenched in history. While they take us back to another time and era, icon paintings are still made today by artisans like Kiryakos Lazarides, from Athens, Greece. Usually working in egg tempera or acrylic on backgrounds of canvas or wood, Kiryakos translates figures and symbols which have been synonymous with Christianity for centuries into art that can be treasured and admired today.

Eastern Orthodox tradition is the framework within which Kiryakos paints; this style of art-making dates back to the earliest days of Christianity. He paints in both Macedonian and Cretan styles.

Works may feature a beloved Orthodox saint against a gleaming background of gold-leaf. Elsewhere, Kiryakos’ Christian figures are rendered in more classically formatted portraits, with a distinctively intense, straightforward gaze and Greek text to provide information on the subject depicted. In addition to members of the Holy Family as well as a host of important saints, Kiryakos also paints historical members of the Church clergy, such as popes and other religious leaders. Though most of his paintings are on a small scale, Kiryakos has been commissioned to adorn large, liturgically themed pieces in Greece. His mastery of icon painting is a tribute to the past, and a way of maintaining ancient traditions with reverence and beauty.