§ About author
Icon-painter Vladimir Butov
As a pupil of Krasnodar school No. 64 Vladimir’s churching began in the end of 80-th when his parents came back from their tourist voyage to Finland, and, say, illegally, brought the Gospel According to St. John, in Russian, and presented it to him. Vladimir speaks favorably of his parents: his father Vladimir Ivanovich Butov and his mother Olga Ivanovna. He is sure that their good education, home way of life, kindness, tenderness of feelings and hospitality helped him a lot in choosing his way of life in a correct direction.
Another book defining his sudden change in his mind was hagiography of Saint Sergius of Radonezh who was revered as the Great Hegumen of the Russian land. Valdimir adopted a decision to be baptized to a holly christening. His parents blessed him for that.
By that time, Vladimir Butov graduated the Krasnodar Arts School with honors, and his sketches, graphic and modeling works were exhibited at children Arts work shows not only in Russia but in foreign countries and were always highly estimated.
A sudden impulse in mind, administration to the Orthodox church actively occurred when Vladimir Butov having acquired practical skills in the Arts School started visiting the icon-painting studio located in the Trinity Cathedral in Krasnodar city. At that time, he distinctly realized that prior to starting icon painting one must get to know everything about it, contribute faith, soul, power and knowledge in it.
The first three months, at the age of 14, Vladimir was busy with ink milling, and preparing boards for icon painting. Vladimir studied Church Slavonic language, served as a sexton in the church of stanitsa Staromyshastovskaya. And, only after a long period of time Vladimir gained credence to begin painting of his first icon. According to the tradition existing since the 15-th century it was the Icon of Christ Holy Face. This work was painted so successfully that further it was included in the booklet for publishing. The other two icons were also conferred to this honor, they were also painted in those times: the Transfiguration of Christ and Christ Emmanuel. All his spare time and sometimes the escaped lessons at school Vladimir devoted to icon painting, studying theoretical and practical fundamentals of icon painting, praying morning and evening devotions, visiting cathedrals, observing fasts, making pilgrimage trips.
Recently, Vladimir returned from Novo-Afonsky monastery in Abkhazia. He studied architecture of buildings and paintings on monastery walls and acquired spiritual wealth intellectual development. He visited the Monastery of Optina famous all over the world, he plans to visit the St. Therapontus ancient monastery in Vologoda Region where frescos of XIV century painted by famous icon-painter Dionysius were kept safe until now.
I.I. Gorlova, rector of Krasnodar State Academy of Culture, played an important role in Vladimir Butov’s formation as an icon-painter. She saw the abilities of V. Butov who was a school graduating student, and established an icon-painting faculty at the Academy of Culture that he successfully finished after four years of fruitful education and acquired a profession of icon-painter that was rather rare for that kind of educational institutions in those times. By the time of graduating from the Academy Vladimir Butov’s name was rather famous among other icon-painters, clergymen and parishioners.
In 1996, in commemoration of the 30-th anniversary of Krasnodar State Academy of Culture, the works of the young talented icon-painter Vladimir Butov were collected in a booklet “Modern Orthodox Icon” and published. The Metropolitan of Ekaterinodar and Kuban Land Isidor in the name of this outstanding event with his inherent wise and good nature noted that “In Kuban Land as well as all over the Great Russia, the flame of peoples national adoration to icon painting is live. Supported by real zealous persons of the Motherland, it will warm the hearts of our children in the present-day reality, it will help us to educate the ideals of holiness and intellectual beauty of our nation”.
The icons reproduced in the booklet were painted with inks that V. Butov made of natural mineral materials such as malachite, lapis lazuli, fiery cinnabar and sparkling gold leaf, gentle shades of ochre and white paints pure as the snowdrop were applied. The images attracted our attention with its brightness of picture representation, freshness and softness of colours.
The governing Father-Superior Isidor with his good offices and kind intentions for the future, in 1996, with his blessing of opening the first exhibition of icons made by the young icon-painter in Kuban land, and also with his blessing of the building and further opening of the icon-painting studio of V. Butov in the city of Krasnodar, to a considerable extent contributed to perfection of the talent of young Vladimir.
The first cathedral where Vladimir had practice in painting of the whole iconostasis was the Temple of Saint George the Victorius in the Regional city. Many parishioners here, well know and remember Vladimir Butov and are thankful to him for his skills and soul that he contributed in painting of iconostasis that is the most ancient temple in the Kuban land that was built by Cossacks in Taman (the temple of the Patronage of the Most Holly Queen). Vladimir has painted a number of icons including the icon Patronage of the Most Holly Queen in the iconostasis and on the top of the entrance to the temple, the icon of the Mother of God Aligitria, the icon of St. Feodor Ushakov – the famous Russian naval commander who did not lose any naval battle and who paid his last debt to nature in monasticism. While working with the sacred image of this man of God the fragments of his holly relics ceremonially were brought to the temple and for commemoration of this event a mass religious procession was held.
For the monastery of St. Michael of Holy Mt. Athos, in the Caucasus of Maikop and Adygei eparchy, Vladimir painted a sacred image of the Most Holy Mother of God Tikhvinskaya, icons of archangels Michael and Gabriel in the iconostasis and others. Vladimir Butov participated in paintings of altar at the temple of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God in stanitsa Vyselki of Krasnodar Region, some icons were painted for Orthodox temples in the United States of America when he went on voyage to this country, Vladimir Butov’s icons are there in France, Italy and in other countries, and, mainly, and many members of the Orthodox Church of the Russian land have his icons irrespective of their position: either as a former or a governor.
Now, Vladimir Vladimirovich finishes painting of the iconostasis for the temple – chapel of St. Dmitriy Solunskiy constructed by the “soldiers fellowship community” in Krasnodar Jubilee micro-district in commemoration of the soldiers who perished in local war battles: in Afghanistan, Chechnya and in other localities. Especially, in this iconostasis the icons of the czar's family and the Great Orthodox Saint Sergius Hegumen of Radonezh.
Vladimir Butov’s icons are distinguished for his high skill painting technique, harmony of colors and fine representation of holy faces . While looking at the icons painted by the young icon-painter, one feels holy and lofty ideals and conciliation in the heart and soul.
For his work with diligence and for the results achieved in the skills, icon-painter Vladimir Butov was awarded with the Letter Missive of the Eparchy by The Metropolitan of Ekaterinodar and Kuban Land Isidor.
In 2004, Vladimir Butov was awarded with the Diploma as a laureate of the regional referendum “Kuban 2004”: “A Man of the Year” nominated as “The Pride of Kuban Land”. He also was a
the national prize-winner of Russia “A Man of Year 2004” with presentation of the “Silver Cross” Order to him.
Vladimir Butov has a lot to do in the future in the holy icon-painting deed. And it will be appropriate to note that while talking about the significance of the icon in the life of a modern person we wish to appeal to all of you: try to look at the icon with the eyes of our ancestors who esteemed it as the greatest object of worship and as the Heavenly Mediatress of the Russian State. And let the greatest objects of worship of our ancestors be our greatest objects of worship as well.