Arapoff - artist, born in St. Petersburg (1904), painted in
Paris (1925-1930), and then in Boston (1930-1948). The icons,
a blend of Eastern and Western traditions, were painted to enhance
the prayer life of all believers. Arapoff
was the only son of noble parents, both surgeons, and he was
taught from childhood the values of self-sacrifice and idealism.
After he became a Roman Catholic in 1934, his art, his writings,
his every action, portrayed a consuming and total absorption
in God and perfection of himself through his ascetic and saintly
Arapoff painted portraits, flowers and landscapes in oil as
a form of recreation—he called it "recharging my battery"—most
of his energy was devoted after 1934 to a self-imposed apprenticeship
in mastering the painstaking technique of the Medieval Russian
icon painters. In a few short years his mastery was so complete
that all of his work, religious and secular, reflected the
spirit and style of that great age of religious art.
for the magazine America, Arapoff said about himself: "I know that much work, sanctity, enlightenment and contemplative
life is required to make a painter nearer to that unknown
function, to that mysterious tender power that can give cosmic
worth to human efforts. That power that makes Science into
Art and makes Art serve religion."