FRINGE REVIEW – Old Russian Icons


If you’ve had enough of genital origami, scantily clad burlesque divas
and swearing comedians, head down Leith Walk to Rufus Reade Art for
something a bit more spiritual.

As proprietor of the Nomad’s Tent, Rufus Reade is a well known
purveyor of tribal art. But Reade is a man with many strings to his
bow, as this carefully curated selling exhibition demonstrates. He has
been collecting icons for many years, and has put together an
impressive collection of rarely-seen examples of this Russian monastic

Icons are highly stylised portraits designed to allow the viewer a
glimpse of the divine. They were painted by monks according to rigid
stylistic rules, intended to represent transformed life rather than
reality. Reade’s collection includes some extremely unusual examples
and a cross-section of styles from 18th and 19th Century Russia.

Rufus Reade himself is as enthusiastic as one might expect from one of
Edinburgh’s great collectors. He has obviously done his research well
and is happy to share his knowledge and passion for these icons. Until
14th August, his gallery is home to a little piece of heaven.

4-14 Aug 1100 (1600) and by appointment until 2 Sept @ Rufus Reade Art

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