A unique handmade icon with enamel (smalt) made by the brotherhood in the Holy Monastery of Saint Elisavet.
Dimensions: 5.5 x 7.5 cm.
The miraculous icon of the Virgin Eleousa was hiden, at a depth of one and a half meters under the ground over centuries, and found in a miraculous way. The Holy Mother of God appeared in the eight-year-old Athanasius Syros and pointed out to him the place of the miraculous icon. It is of small size and bears the inscription "Mother of God Eleousa". According to experts, the icon appears to belong to the era of iconoclasm. Μore about Theotokos Eleousa.
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.