Unknown, possibly from the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, working in the style of the Moscow School
Apparition of the Mother of God to Saint Sergius of Radonezh,  late 16th century, Russia
Egg tempera on wood panel
Murray Warner Collection of Oriental Art; MWRU34:15

The Death of Saint Gerasimus of Jordan, 18th century, Russia
Pigment on paper
Gift of Julia Burgess; MS 064a, University of Oregon Special Collections & University Archives


After Life: The Saints of Russian and Greek Orthodoxy

March 12, 2022 to March 19, 2023

A saint is a being worthy of worship and set apart from the world around them due to their unique relationship with the gods. During their mortal life, Christian saints had a special relationship with God, the ability to perform miracles, a willingness to suffer torture and death for their beliefs, and followed the pious behavior set by Christ. One or more of these qualities guaranteed them a privileged place in heaven and are therefore intercessors between humanity and the all mighty post-mortem. After their death or martyrdom, the body, associated objects, religious buildings in their name, and images of the saints were used as tools to directly communicate with God through the saint. The stories of their lives, called hagiography, provided a semiotic language for art and clear moralistic sermons to preach. Saints can be as renowned as St. John, one of the twelve apostles, or culturally specific, such as the Russian saint Sergius of Radonezh. This exhibition explores the lives of saints, the practice of saint veneration, and the tools of intercession through icons, manuscripts, and other religious objects from Eastern Christian Orthodoxy. Zoey Kambour, 2021-22 post-graduate fellow in European & American art, curated this selection of works from the JSMA’s icon collection, courtesy of A. Dean and Lucille I. McKenzie, the Knight Library’s Special Collections, and loaned objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gallery Guide - English