A unique handmade icon with enamel (smalt) made by the brotherhood in the Holy Monastery of Saint Elisavet.
Dimensions: 5 x 6 cm.
Tradition says that the icon of Virgin Mary of Kazan was a gift from the Patriarch of Constantinople Germanos II to the inhabitants of Kazan in the 13th century. The Patriarch donated the image as a support of consolation and hope to the inhabitants to face the frequent raids of other nations and believers of other religions against them. More about Virgin of Kazan.
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.