History and mission

“Radruzh” Iconography School and Studio is a unique project at the intersection of art, spirituality and academic learning. It offers high-quality practical lessons/courses in traditional Byzantine and Ukrainian iconography (using authentic medieval technique), as well as academic and amateur level courses in theory and history of the art. We professionally paint icons and can teach you this ancient art either in direct face-to-face lessons, or via distance learning (video-conferencing with individual real-time tutoring). Additionally, we offer a wide array of courses on the theology of the icon and various aspects of Church art in video-format (available to registered users on our Youtube channel).

The “Radruzh” Iconography School was created in 2005, and is dedicated to the study, revival and promotion of traditional Ukrainian, and more broadly, Eastern Christian iconography. We draw our inspiration from the beauty of original medieval masterpieces, their unique style and authentic technique. Over the last 17 years we spread the knowledge and experience of iconography among hundreds of students from Ukraine and various foreign countries. We created numerous works of art for the use in Christian churches and by private individuals.
We work exclusively in the traditional egg-tempera technique and try to imitate medieval examples of iconography as closely as possible, at the same time bringing into them a new, modern, style and spirit.

Who We Are and What We Do?

Among the many icon painting schools available today in various countries, our school is distinct by the following features:

Truly International Outreach
We are one of the very few icon painting programs taking part in a traditionally Eastern Christian country, but offered in English and attuned to the needs of international audience. The format of a summer school, the duration that allows you to get immersed into the art, but still fits into an average vacation time-slot, an intensive cultural program, and good facilities make the school a really good choice for those wishing to combine learning with an unforgettable cultural and spiritual experience.

The Unity of Theological, Liturgical, and Artistic Experiences
We believe that iconography is a way of prayer and spiritual experience, rooted in the faith of the Church and the sense of beauty of Byzantine Christianity. We create an opportunity for our students not only to get competent instruction in practical icon painting, but also to attend theoretical courses on the theology and theory of art as well as to participate in daily liturgical services. Moreover, the process of the student`s learning is facilitated by numerous excursions and field-lectures on the rich collections of ancient icons in local museums and other monuments of Church art and architecture.

Learning the Ukrainian Iconographic Tradition
From a great variety of existing iconographic traditions, we focus on the authentic Ukrainian school of icon-painting: its original painting technique, distinct use of materials, unique features of style and composition. While the Ukrainian icon-painting school constitutes an integral part of the universal Christian iconographic tradition, it also boasts a high degree of originality and a distinctive local flavor, which we invite our students to appreciate. Our school is probably the only place in the world where you can get initiated into the authentic technique of the Western Ukrainian iconography of its classical period (15th -16th centuries.) This is thanks to a professional team of instructors and selection of courses and other activities that facilitate the students` learning process.

Rich Cultural Program
Last but not least, taking place in the beautiful historical city of Lviv, the program has a strong cultural element (city tours, field-trips to various interesting spots, attending cultural and recreational events in the city and the area), which will make your stay with us an unforgettable experience of immersion in Ukrainian culture, history and its dynamic present-day life.

Open to All
We strive to offer our students high-quality service that would allow them to learn the art in-depth. At the same time, we welcome people who do not have much artistic experience, training or even courage in their ability to paint an icon. We believe that everyone can try, and everyone can benefit for this experience. Many people come to us for meditative atmosphere, spiritual concentration, relaxation, and art-therapeutic experience.