From Pattern to Painting unveils the process of creating a religious icon through the drawings of painter Pimen M. Sofronov (1898–1973). Sofronov, an Orthodox Christian icon painter born in the Russian Empire in present-day Estonia, is the most influential iconographer of the Russian emigration.
In the 1930s and 1940s, he established schools of iconography in Riga, Paris, and Belgrade, lectured in Belgium and Prague, and produced works for King Alexander of Yugoslavia and Pope Pius XI in Rome. After World War II, Sofronov was invited to America by Holy Trinity Monastery (Jordanville, New York) to teach iconography. In the 1950s–1960s, he created icons and religious murals for Orthodox Christian churches throughout the United States.
The Pimen M. Sofronov Collection in the Hilandar Research Library includes over 800 books from his personal library. The collection contains working drawings, pricked papers, sketches, and a number of images from newspapers, magazines, and books that inspired his work. Photographs of his work, exhibit catalogs, samples of his students' work, and correspondence complement the original drawings and provide context for this working iconographer’s life — his business, his teaching, and his passion.
This exhibit displays Sofronov’s creative process, from the pattern books in his library to his preliminary sketches and working drawings. Included are photographs of icons and murals he created for Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church (Brooklyn, New York), Three Saints Orthodox Church (Ansonia, Connecticut), and St. Vladimir Orthodox Church (Trenton, New Jersey).