Anna Kalinin is one of the most exciting iconographers working in Russia today. The art of iconography was reborn in post-Perestroika Russia, where a multitude of talented artists flourish today.
Among them, Anna is unique in her flexibility — she has mastered different styles, ranging from Byzantine to Russian and Florentine.
Anna's lifelong commitment to fine art can be traced to her roots. Anna's maternal grandmother, who was a trained artist, gave Anna her first drawing lessons. Since Olga Turzhanskaya had been trained in the classical manner at the Parisian Academy, this early training laid the foundation for Anna's com¬pelling drawing skills, which are reflected in her iconography today.
Anna went on to study art formally in a specialized art school: a Russian tradition that has bred many famous artists. At 16 Anna began her training as an iconographer, working as an apprentice with Ksenya Pokrovsky, a well-Known Moscow-bred iconographer, currently working in Boston, USA.
Anna went on to earn a degree in restoration from the famous Stroganov Art School of Moscow. Thus, Anna became a qualified restorer and iconogra¬pher: today she works with egg tempera, oils and acrylics. Anna is also a qualified fresco painter, as well as a Florentine- and Byzantine-style mosaic maker.
Anna was lucky enough to work with many well-known artists and restorers. «I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have worked and studied under the guidance of Professor Ovchinnikov, a world-famous restorer», remembers Anna, «I was also fortunate to have had the chance to work on frescoes with Professor Filatov and learn gilding techniques from Father Zenon, one of the first world-class iconographers to have emerged in post-Perestroika Russia».
Anna worked as a restorer in the first monastery to be re-opened after Perestroika — Danilov Monastery in Moscow. This was only the beginning. Since then, Anna has produced icons for church¬es and monasteries worldwide.
Today, her work can be found in Moscow, in Christ the Savior Cathedral for instance, and in monasteries such as Optina and Valaam, as well as in small village churches. You can find Anna's icons in Australia, Great Britain, Italy, New Zealand, the USA: Alaska, California, Florida, Ohio, New York City, - and in many other places around the world. In accordance with the Curia's decision a special chapel for the copy of «Mother of God Vladimirskaya Icon», painted by Anna, was built in Bologna, Italy.
Anna recently completed a large iconostasis for Trinity Church in Tsaritsyno (a Moscow suburb), consecrated in honor of the Millennium of Christianity in Russia.
Anna's personal style can be best described as flexible virtuosity. She is perfectly at home in all periods of iconography and all mediums. The modeling of her figures, shapes of the draperies, soft lines in the hands and faces — all reflect a comprehensive knowledge and mastery of Byzantine-style iconography interpreted through the medium of Russian artists such as Andrey Rublev.
On the other hand, when Anna paints icons for 17th century settings, she matches her style with the requirements of the age. Her icons become monumental and dignified; the masterly application of gold leaf enhances the impression that ope has been transported back into the 1600's. Decisive use of white, intricate detailed ornamentation and energetic lines contrast effectively with the softly etched faces ancf the lively glances of the saints.
Anna is demonstrably a talented artist and a fascinating, as well as an extremely hard-working person with great creative plans. She is continually developing artistically; her plans include photography and filmmaking. Anna is raising three children and enjoys skiing and diving with them.