Robert Lentz is a Franciscan friar whose innovative icons are known throughout the world. He is a member of Holy Name Province, and is stationed in Silver Spring, Maryland at Holy Name College. Besides painting many hours each day, he teaches apprentices, writes, and conducts workshops on art and spirituality throughout the United States. Brother Robert is active in promoting dialog between Muslims and Christians. He is also committed to the indigenization of Byzantine iconography in the various cultures embraced by the Church.
Brother Robert was born in rural Colorado in 1946. His grandparents emigrated from tsarist Russia in the early 1900's. He studied Byzantine iconography by apprenticing himself to a master painter from the school of Photios Kontoglou in a Greek Orthodox monastery founded from Mount Athos. He belongs to the Byzantine Rite, but has focused his life and his work on the radical changes facing all Christians in our day.
His icons reflect his experiences among the poor in this country and in the Third World, as well as his Franciscan and Russian roots. They are filled with bright colors and often depict contemporary subjects. While always striving to remain true to the essence of Byzantine iconography, he adapts traditional conventions in order to minister better to the emerging Church. His icons remain transcendent expressions of the ancient Christian Tradition, and they invite us into communion with God and the saints.