A unique handmade icon with enamel (smalt) made by the brotherhood in the Holy Monastery of Saint Elisavet.
Dimensions: 5 x 6.5 cm.
This miraculous icon at the end of the first century was located in a cell near Karyes, Mount Athos, which today bears the same name "Axion Esti". At that time, the archangel Gabriel appeared miraculously in the cell and sang with the monk, presenting the previously unknown prelude "Axion esti...". More about Theotokos Axion Esti.
The history of enamel (smalt) is literally dawning many centuries back, while the oldest samples are found in the civilization of Mycenae. The art of the smalt reached its zenith during the Byzantine times (8th – 12th centuries), when it was applied in ecclesiastical, as well as in luxurious items. Through the ages, smalt was considered an expensive and valuable piece of art, which was based on the use of grated glass – mass, colored with various metallic oxides. This mass is placed on a metallic surface and is baked in a special oven in temperature of 600 to 900C. When the glass mass gets cold, it becomes solid, creating one merged mass with the metal. In that way, smalt can offer us pieces with bright, shining and vivid colors.