Alexander Deriev is an icon painter, music producer and the former editor and publisher of the online and in-print international journal of poetry, translation and art Ars Interpres, originating in Stockholm.

The icons painted by him can be found in many churches in the Holy Land, USA and Europe, as well as in private collections.

Alexander Deriev was born in Ukraine, the former USSR, but grew up in Kazakhstan. Influenced by Pavel Zaltsman, then the only remaining living follower of Pavel Filonov, he began to study painting in 1980.

After studying the art of icon painting (or icon writing as the correct term is) with some influential painters, Alexander Deriev began painting icons in the mid-1980s.

In the 1990s, Alexander Deriev published several books including Who Is Who in the Churches of Jerusalem and How to Write Icons. In 1994, he also co-edited an English-Russian newsletter Joy of Resurrection. That same year Alexander Deriev recorded his first CD entitled Russian Sacred Masterpieces. So far, Alexander Deriev has compiled and produced over 50 CDs for both several Israeli companies and The Divine Art Record Company in the UK. All these CDs emphasize rich musical traditions of various Christian denominations.

Since 1999, Alexander Deriev with his late wife, an Odessa-born poet and writer Regina Derieva, lives in Sweden, where he teaches icon painting in different institutions across Scandinavia, and publishes Ars Interpres Publications book series.

A book of John Kinsella's poems entitled Icononotes (accompanied by Alexander Deriev’s icons) was produced in 2012. In 2006, an interview with Alexander Deriev by Marcus Grodi was featured on The Journey Home EWTN TV show.


Alexander's icons

Alexander's books 



(click for Alexander Deriev's icons)

See also the series of sketches for the ICONONOTES book

If you are a group of 10 - 15 people, Alexander and his staff are prepared
to come from Stockholm, Sweden, to your own hometown parish.
Just send an e-mail with preferred dates and location and we
will work out a plan together.


Letter of recommendation by Anders Arborelius, ocd,
Cardinal and Catholic Archbishop of Sweden:

With this letter I would like to recommend Mr Alexander Deriev and the courses
in icon-painting that he is offering. Mr Deriev has a long experience of this art
and he has also profound knowledge about the theology and spirituality of
the icons. Through his courses he can contribute to better understanding of
and dialogue with the tradition of the Eastern church.

I do hope that Mr Deriev will be able to help many interested persons to paint
icons and simultaneously learn about the spiritual heritage of Eastern Christianity –
because he is also very eager to help his pupils to learn about this theological
background of the icons. It is very important to stress this ecumenical aspect of his
work. Through his roots in Russia and his deep knowledge of Russian tradition he
has a lot to teach us in the Western world.

"We hope that the iconographic works of our days represented by this work
contribute to increase knowledge of the spiritual riches which icons reflect."

Egon Senler, S.J.
Center for Russian Studies; Meudon, France
From the foreword to Alexander Deriev's catalogue of icons (East Jerusalem, 1994)


Alexander conducting Icon Painting Workshop
in the Sweden's maximum security Kumla Prison.

Alexander's CDs