In Athos, the icons of the interior of the Churches and Altars, the portable icons for worship as well as the illuminated manuscripts, are characterized by the constant presence of iconographers, monks and ordinary people. This timelessness allows to the current iconographers of Mount Athos to safely render the tradition of the Orthodox Christian iconography.
By using known old but also contemporary materials, they render in the best way the holy art of iconography to the portable icons which we will present to you in this section.The portable byzantine icon is the eternal guardian of people’s deep faith, precisely because it is an artwork with a theological message and not just a work of religious art.
The polished gilding of the portable icons requires specialized artists and a good deal of experience. The aim is to lay gold leaves on a flat or raised surface and create a flawless result comparable to the figure portrayed on the Byzantine icon. The artist first chooses the wood on which he applies the bole (base) and scrapes it in order to make the surface perfectly flat.
Later on, he moistens the surface and sticks the pieces of gold. Then, the artist completes the design by using his specialized equipment made of agate. Gilding is applied on the background, halo and sometimes on Saint’s clothes as well.
The teaching of our Church acccording to which icons from the very begining, sustain an integral part of the Christian Gospel
is also expressed in tradition, with religious icons that glorify the face of Christ, Our Lady Theotokos and all the saints of our Orthodox Church.
When we see an icon, we have the visible word of God. That is, when we see the icon of the Crusifixion, we have before us the scene of the Crucifixion. When we see the icon of Saint Demetrius, the martyrdom of the saint comes to our minds. In this way, the icon of the faith of our Church is recalled, the belief that the Christian wants to be close to the person depicted