Sacred women in Orthodox art

Exhibitions & Museums

Exhibition in cooperation with the Ikonen Museum in Frankfurt am Main and the Icon Museum Kampen (Netherlands)

Ikonen-Museum Recklinghausen, November 12, 2023 to March 17, 2024

Catherine, Our Lady with Child, Lucia. Veneto-Kretenzian, 16th century (Icon Museum Kampen - On loan from private possession Icon Museum Kampen, Netherlands)

Debates about the position of women in society have been ongoing for decades and have become more topical than ever in recent years, in the wake of gender discourses and the #MeToo movement. As the first icon exhibition, the exhibition focuses on the depiction of holy women in Orthodox icon painting and aims to contribute to shed light on the perception and representation of women in Orthodox Christian culture and to trace their historical development.

More than seventy objects from the three partner museums and from private lenders illustrate the broad spectrum of female sainthood. Besides martyrs, hermits and nuns, there were also power-conscious rulers who were venerated as saints. The Christian image of women was shaped primarily by Eve and Mary. We want to tell our audience the exciting stories of these women and ask them what they have to say about the emergence and communication of formative ideas about femininity.

Mary of Egypt. Russia, ca. 1800 (Icon Museum Frankfurt am Main)

Photo at right or below:

Catherine of Alexandria. Crete, 17th century (Ikonen-Museum Recklinghausen)