The “writing” of an icon is not merely the expression of a painter’s artistry, but a profound act of prayer.
Our icons are not copies of old masters, but a new expression of an ancient prototype. The 12th century saw a renaissance in Byzantine art in which the Eastern Christian devotion to the Incarnation saw an increased expression of human emotion in representations of Christ and the saints.
The Virgin of Vladimir and Christe Pantokrator were created by icon writer Brian Tsai of San Francisco. The Virgin of Vladimir shows the beginning of a new prototype of the Virgin and Child, the “Eleoussa” (tenderness), where the Child’s cheek is pressed against that of his Mother and his tiny arm stretches all the way around her neck.
Painted on poplar wood in the traditional manner, all natural pigments are mixed with egg yolk and 24 c. gold leaf is applied to the nimbus around the heads the figures, and the whole is coated with linseed oil.
The icon of The Resurrection, also known as the Descent to Hades, was created by Irene Perez-Omer of Austin, Texas (www.iconarts.com) and given by the Scott family in memory of Mary McDermott Scott. Christ is raising Adam and Eve and all the righteous of the Old Testament. The icon is based on a monumental fresco of the Resurrection at the Church of Christ St. Saviour at Chora, Istanbul (also known as Kariye Camii).
The icon is on a gessoed poplar board with oak braces painted with egg-tempera and 24 c. gold leaf according to the Russian-Byzantine tradition.