Anna Terentieva iconographer |




I am an iconographer i.e. an artist who has a vocation within the Eastern Orthodox Church to create sacred images for liturgical and private worship called icons.

Becoming an iconographer was a result of my conversion while doing the course ‘History of Ancient Russian Art’ as a part of my professional training in book design and illustration in Moscow. Christian art brought me to Christ and then, in turn, life in the Church propelled me to begin using my skills as an artist for Christ, in a more direct way.

I understand each icon as a vehicle for connection, between the persons depicted, myself and those who will pray before it. Traditionally, an iconographer and a commissioner pray for each other and to the ones depicted while an icon is being created – thus a personal spiritual connection forms the very start of my work.



1993 – 1998     Moscow State University of Printing Arts, Master’s Degree in Graphic Arts

1992 – 1993     studied live drawing under Irina Pavlovna Zaharova, Moscow

1984 – 1988     Moscow Art College, Diploma of Graphic Arts


Work Experience & Development

2012 – present     full-time iconographer (independent work for private commissions and churches)

2018     travelled to Italy (Pisa, Siena, Florence, Ravenna) to study medieval egg tempera panels and ancient Christian mosaics

2015     travelled to Spain (Madrid, Valladolid, Toledo) to study polychrome sculptures and El Greco’s paintings

2014 – 2015     restoration and iconography at St Mary and Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Armidale

2013     travelled to France (Paris) to study medieval egg tempera panels, illuminated manuscripts and to Turkey (Istanbul) to study Byzantine frescos and mosaics

2006 – 2008     ‘Individuation’ project (series of artworks exploring Jungian ideas)

2006     began studying analytical psychology

2000 – present freelance illustrator

1996 – 1999     book designer and illustrator in State publishing office ‘Prosveshenie’ (design and illustration of children’s learning books), Moscow

1995     received a blessing from my confessor to start painting sacred images

1993     began study of Christian art, iconographic Canon and Eastern Orthodox theology

1991 – 1993     graphic designer in State design company ‘Promgraphica’, Moscow (design, including work for the Ministry of Arts)

1988 – 1990     graphic designer in ‘Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy’, Moscow


Areas of Expertise

Icon painting is as much theology as art hence my areas of expertise, apart from visual arts, are: theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church, iconographic canon and egg tempera technique as it is applied to the icon. Additional areas of knowledge are mystical theology of the Roman Catholic Church, Carmelite spirituality and Western medieval sacred art. I also studied Spanish polychrome sculpture and love working on three-dimensional religious images, applying to sculpture the principals of icon painting. In my more recent icons I freely blend the principals of Western medieval religious art with those of Eastern religious art.

Apart from creating sacred images I write on topics related to personhood, from a joint theological and psychological perspective, with a particular focus on childhood emotional abuse and its impact on forming an attachment to God in later life.


Bibliography (Publications)

Christian Art 2018: Annual Catalogue of the Masters of Christian Art (pp. 94-95). Publishing Office of Moscow Patriarchy Russian Orthodox Church 2018

Amnesty International, 2014, selected works for the project “Postcards of Solidarity” to support Russian political prisoners

Macrina the Younger: Philosopher of God (Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts), Cover (icon of St Macrina). Anna Silvas, Oxford University Press 2008

The Asketikon of St Basil the Great (Oxford Early Christian Studies), Cover (icon of St Basil)

Anna Silvas, Oxford University Press 2005

‘Look into heaven with Anna at NERAM’, The Armidale Express, November 8, 2006

‘Artists explore time, space and their place’, The Armidale Express, November 1, 2006


Selected Published Writings

Icons Are for Prayer, self-published for educational purposes 2017

‘Loss of Faith’, Credo.Press 2013

‘“Like relics like myrrh”: Pussy Riot as a vomiting antidote to the lies in Christ’s name’,

Credo.Press 2012


Collections and selected public commissions

Icons held in private collections and churches in Australia, Russia, UK, Ukraine and USA.

2014 – 2015     icon The Baby Jesus of St Anthony of Padua & restoration and remodelling the statues at the St Mary and Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Armidale

2013, 2010     icons The Nativity of the Mother of God & St John the Forerunner for the iconostasis of the Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, Walsall, UK


Solo exhibitions

2006     Windows into Heaven, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale

2002     St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Armidale




to the text about the iconographer and her work