The Holiness of the Belarusian Land

The Holiness of the Belarusian Land

The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus Main building

From November 1, the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus will be hosting an exhibition based on the works from the VIII International Plein Air “The Holiness of the Belarusian Land”, dedicated to the 850th anniversary of the repose of St. Euphrosyne of Polatsk and the Year of Peace and Creation.

The bright image of holy Euphrosyne, the patroness and heavenly intercessor of the Belarusian land, is an enduring symbol of peace, humility, gentleness and love for one’s neighbors. The ascetic efforts of Saint Euphrosyne, the founding of monasteries and churches in the Principality of Polatsk which became educational centres, as well as the creation, at her request, of the spiritual shrine of Belarus – the altar Cross of Saint Euphrosyne, the translation and copying of liturgical manuscripts – are the defining  events in the cultural history of Belarus.

The organisers of the plein air are the Belarusian Orthodox Church, the Belarusian Union of Artists, the Belarusian Women’s Union, the Belarusian Union of Journalists, and BelEngineeringStroyInvest LLC.

Artists from Belarus, Russia and Moldova took part in the project. Among the participants are household names (Gleb Otchyk, Anatol Otchyk, Galina Konanava, Aksana Eudakimenka, Yury Yazan, etc.) as well as up-and-coming artists (Ganna Sadouskaya, Marta Shcherbich). An integral part of the project was a republican children’s art competition.

As part of the plein air, a solemn consecration of a memorial sign took place in the Church of Saint Euphrosyne in Ivianets in honour of the 850th anniversary of the blessed death of Saint Euphrosyne, Abbess of Polatsk. Participants of the plein air visited the Saint Euphrosyne Women’s Monastery in Polatsk as well as other Orthodox shrines of the city. They also visited the Ivianets boarding school for children with special needs, where participants of the plein air were treated to a concert performance prepared by the institution’s pupils, and got acquainted with the children’s paintings. A charity auction was also organised, the proceeds from which went to the charity project “Artists – For Children of the Summer”.

The exhibition presents about 50 works from the plein air: landscapes, still lifes, genre and symbolic compositions. Some of the works are devoted to the life of the Saint Euphrosyne of Polatsk. Also are to be presented the 30 works of the winners of the republican children’s art competition held as part of the plein air.

The exhibition will run until December 3, 2023.

Exhibition curator: Aliaksei Matsiushonak, head of the Exhibition Department of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus