Clemena Antonova-Crombois

Art History, Wien
Fellowship: 01.10.2015–31.03.2016; 01.10.2019–31.03.2020


Clemena Antonova is an art historian with a background in literature and cultural studies. Her D.Phil. (Ph.D.) at Oxford University, supervized by the well-known art historian Emeritus Prof. Martin Kemp and the philosopher Emeritus Prof. Paul Crowther, was published as "Space, Time, and Presence in the Icon: Seeing the World with the Eyes of God," (Ashgate, U.K., 2010). Her second book, "Visual Thought in Russian Religious Philosophy: Pavel Floresky's Theory of the Icon," is forthcoming in 2019 with Routledge in their series "Focus on Religion." She has published in established, peer-reviewed journals, such as "Leonardo," "Sobornost," "Cithara," "Slavonica," etc.

At present, Clemena is the Research Director of the "Russia in Global Dilogue" programme at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (IWM), where she worked previously for the project of Charles Taylor, one of the most influential philosophers nowadays. She has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Edinburgh, the Royal Academy in Belgium, IMERA at the University of Aix-Marseille, etc. She has taught at several universities in Bulgaria, Morocco, and Britain.

Fields of Research

the art of the medieval icon; Russian critiques of the icon with a focus on Pavel Florensky (1883-1937); religious philosophy

Project outline

Artistic Autobiographies and (Self)-Portraits: The Self-representation of the Russian Avant-garde

Publications (Selection)


  • Visual Thought in Russian Religious Philosophy: Pavel Florensky’s Theory of the Icon, New York: Routledge, 2019 (book series »Focus on Religion«)
  • Space, Time, and Presence in the Icon: Seeing the World with the Eyes of God, with a preface by Martin Kemp, Farnham: Ashgate Publishers, UK, 2010 (book series »Theology, Imagination, and the Arts«).



  • »Non-Euclidean Geometry in the Russian History of Art: On a Little-known Application of a Scientific Theory,« Leonardo, vol.51/5, 2018 (online version with limited access, print version in 2021).
  • »›Daring to think‹ of a Non-Euclidean World: Science and Religion in Russian Critiques of the Icon,« Sobornost, vol.40/1, 2018, pp.18-31 (the paper has received an essay prize of the Templeton Foundation).
  • »The Vision of God and the Deification of Man: Visual Implications of the Doctrine of Theosis,« in: Volume Visions of God and Ideas of Deification in Patristic Thought, edited by M. Edwards and E. Vasilescu, New York: Routledge, 2017, pp. 213-230.
  • »›Everyone is responsible for everyone and everything‹: Insights on the Refugee Crisis Drawn from Russian Religious Philosophy,« Sobornost, vol.38, number 1, 2016, pp. 20-34.
  • »How to View Icons: An Orthodox Theological View,« Sobornost, vol.37, number 1, 2015, pp.31-41. (for an online version see:
  • »The Role of Religious Art in Post-Communist Russia,« in: Atheist Secularism and Its Discontents: A Comparative Study of Religion and Communism in Eurasia, edited by T. Ngo and J. Quijada, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 210-225.
  • Contribution to Farewell to Visual Studies, edited by J. Elkins, G. Frank and S. Manghani, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015, pp. 35-36, 45-47, 49, 70-71.
  • »Toward a Christian Aesthetics: An Eastern Orthodox Perspective,« Cithara, vol. 54, Number 1, Nov. 2014, pp. 21-38.