Episode 6 – Transcendence

Though Br. Robert was trained in traditional Greek iconography, some of his work has taken iconography in new directions. The icons that Br. Robert paints are, in his own words, “a new kind of icon.” They are not Eastern Orthodox icons, but rather a new genre that he hopes will help revitalize sacred art in… Read more »

Past and Present: Iconograpy Process

There is much we will never know about the early history of Byzantine iconography. Most icons were destroyed in the eighth century during an official purge called the “Iconoclasm.” The few icons that survived on the fringes of the empire date from the sixth or seventh centuries. In the twelve centuries since the Iconoclasm, icons… Read more »

A Brief History of Iconography

Thirty years ago the word icon had a very specific meaning.  It referred exclusively to the religious art of the Orthodox Churches of the East.  Today the word is used for many other objects, ranging from famous movie stars to computer shortcuts for opening an application.  When the word refers to religious art, however, it… Read more »

Episode 3 – Learning

Robert is a lifelong student and learner, but certain moments in his life resonate as particularly edifying. In 1980, Robert was sent to Chile to work in a Russian Orthodox orphanage in Santiago. The hope was that he would become a priest for the orphanage and the nuns who lived with the orphans. Instead, Robert… Read more »

Robert’s Politics: A Defense of the “Loyal Opposition”

In the video Robert’s Politics, Robert theorizes that one cannot fully be a Christian without being political. The idea that Christianity and politics are intertwined is consistent in both his work and in his faith. Robert’s icons showcase a dichotomy of religious and secular figures; holy people whose political impact on their world promoted Gospel… Read more »

Episode 2 – Politics

Robert believes that Christianity and politics are inextricably entwined. He has been accused of trying to push a political agenda with his work, however Robert maintains that Christianity has always been political and, in fact, one cannot be a Christian without being political. From choosing to follow or challenge the status quo to fighting for… Read more »

Robert’s Religion: Explained

Brother Robert has identified himself as Eastern Rite Catholic and as Orthodox at different times in his life.  As a Franciscan friar he continues to accept Orthodox doctrine as the clearest expression of what he believes about God.  He is not alone in doing this.  Since the Second Vatican Council, many Eastern Rite Catholics have… Read more »

Episode 1 – Religion

Many artists will tell you that their inspiration frequently comes from unexpected places. For Br. Robert Lentz, though he may not have realized it at the time, the inspiration for his work began at a very young age. From the time he was a small child, both religion and creation were woven into the fabric… Read more »