WHAT A REAL ICON WORKSHOP WAS LIKE

For Those Who Think Old Russian Icon Painters to Be so Holy and Worthy of Imitation…

ICONS AND THEIR INTERPRETATION

There is a lot of romanticized nonsense written about the painting of icons in old Russia.  The fact is that it was a business and a very large business,  in spite of sometimes using the euphemism “exchange” for the selling of icons — or more obviously, “to exchange for money.” Huge numbers of icons were sold every year, produced in workshops ranging from large, multi-employee operations to small family or even one-person operations.  A good part of icon painting was done by Old Believers, who kept to the old and traditional styles, though some of the workshops — like the one depicted here — could paint in both styles, just as the earlier Cretan workshops in the Greek Islands had produced icons both in the “Byzantine” style and according to Western Roman Catholic taste.

The following excerpts are an actual glimpse into a pre-Revolution icon workshop in Russia through the…

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About Olga Dytyniak

artist, librarian poet, byzantine icon painter, perennial student. Join me on ukrainianbookclub.wordpress.com frangelicoblue.wordpress.com
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