Medieval Slavic Manuscripts and Culture

Tag: Pimen Sofronov

Pimen M. Sofronov in America

To date, there is no comprehensive and definitive list of the works created by the Russian Old Believer iconographer, Pimen M. Sofronov (1898-1973).  After immigrating to the United States in 1947, he created frescoes and icons for numerous churches and individuals, and taught iconography in various places.

*Note that the names of churches in America below are linked to current websites.

“A Brief Biography” is provided in a program for Sofronov’s “Exhibition of Icons” sponsored by The Russian Orthodox Icon Society at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in San Francisco, California, March 5-21, 1966.

Born 1898.

Began to study iconography 1910.

Taught courses in icon painting:

  • Riga, 1930
  • Paris, 1933 (10 months)
  • Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1934 (3 months)
  • Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1935-38

1939, went to Italy, where, at the request of the Vatican, he painted 56 icons for the projected World Exhibition of Religious Art.

1941, held exhibition of his iconographic work in Rome.

1947, came to America at the invitation of Russian Orthodox Archbp. Vitaly of N. Y. to paint icons in various churches.

1953-55, painted walls of Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Syracuse, N. Y.

1955-57, painted walls and iconostas of St. Vladimir Church, Trenton, N. J.

1958-60, painted walls in Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn, N. Y.

1960, became American citizen.

1961, celebrated 50th anniversary jubilee of icon painting.

1960-62, painted frescoes and icons on iconostas in Three Hierarchs Church in Ansonia, Conn.

1965, came to San Francisco at invitation of Russian Orthodox Icon Society to teach courses in icon painting.

From Pattern to Painting: The Religious Iconography of Pimen Sofronov

The Hilandar Research Library exhibit about the life and work of the Russian Old Believer iconographer Pimen Maksimovich Sofronov (1898-1973) is open to the public in the Thompson Library Exhibit Gallery (1st floor), The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, May 31-September 16, 2018.










Photos of Sofronov’s working drawing or “cartoon” of the Old Testament Holy Trinity and Sofronov’s icon of the Holy Trinity from the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Brooklyn, New York, by M.A. Johnson, Curator of Slavic Early Printed Books and Manuscripts, Hilandar Research Library

Concept and execution of the graphic mash-up of Sofronov’s drawing and photo of Sofronov’s icon by Ken Aschliman, University Libraries Exhibitions Coordinator

Layout and design of the promotional flyer by Pam McClung, University Libraries Graphic Designer.

Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage 33 (June 2013) Available


The latest issue of Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage, vol. 33 (June 2013), is now available, and readers in the US have reported receipt of the RCMSS/HRL newsletter in the mail. The lead article describes the current exhibit in the Thompson Library Gallery, May 15-September 8, 2013: “Travelers to and from Mount Athos: The Translation of Culture, Knowledge, and Spirituality,” an exhibit of the Hilandar Research Library.


Photo of the front cover of the RCMSS/HRL newsletter volume 33 , June 2013

CMH 33 (June 2013)

Additional highlights of this issue include:

  • a two-page article by Peter DeSimone (MSSI 2008, RCMSS graduate associate, and OSU History PhD 2012), “Old Rite in Late Tsarist Russia: Documents of the Moscow Old Ritualists in the Pimen Sofronov Collection”;
  • the preliminary program of the forthcoming 6th International Hilandar Conference, July 19-21, 2013;
  • RCMSS & HRL News Notes;
  • Director’s Desk;
  • an article outlining the various ways to support the Hilandar Research Library and the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies, along with a list of recent contributions to the Hilandar Endowment Fund, Hilandar’s Friends of the Library Fund, and Gifts in Kind.