Sofia Atlantova | Saint Gertrude of Nivelles


Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, 2023
Tempera on fragment from wooden box for AK cartridges brought from the battle field in Bakhmut, Ukraine
41 x 34cm | 16.4 x 13.6 in

© Sofia Atlantova

St. Gertrude is the pious abbess of the Nivelles Abbey, who managed to turn it into an important cultural and religious center. Her association with cats stems from a feline’s predatory instinct to catch and chase away rodents. St. Gertrude was frequently summoned by the townsfolk to ward off illness and rodent infestations and is considered the patron saint of cats as well. Ukraine reminds us that animals suffer during wartime, too. May St. Gertrude help those, small and furry, who are innocent victims of this war! And let the opportunity come as soon as possible to return to a peaceful life, a life where a kitty purrs next to the hostess.

Icons on Ammunition Boxes ™

From 2014, Ukrainian artists Sofia Atlantova and Olexander Klimenko have been using wooden fragments from ammunition boxes abandoned by Russian soldiers on the battle fields in Ukraine to paint icons and donating all sale proceeds to mobile hospitals that provide urgent medical care to wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in late February, 2022, their work remains more relevant than ever.