von Ian Knowles (Autor)
This handbook is an in depth introduction to the theory and practice of Byzantine icon painting in egg tempera. The aim is to help all students aspire to create icons that are both sound theologically while being aesthetically beautiful. This volume focuses on the Face of Christ, especially in the Mandolin icon, and covers all the basics of icon painting. Subsequent volumes are planned which will look at the figure and the Kyykotissa icon, the design of festal icons, backgrounds and buildings . This handbook uses dozens of precisely chosen, clear illustrations, gives precise recipes for colours and mixtures, provides step by step instructions to follow, and links directly to video demonstrations which show some of the most difficult processes close up. It puts the practical aspects of icon painting in a clear historical and theological framework, introducing the application of the timeless principles on which the aesthetics of icon painting are built. As art for the Church's Liturgy, icon painting calls for the highest aesthetic standards and this book aims to help make that achievable for the average committed student. Icon painting is presented here as a vocation, rather than a hobby or an interesting artistic technique though this handbook will be of interest to anyone drawn to the world of the Byzantine liturgy and its icons. By encouraging students to do more than simply copy good examples from the past but to understand how the medieval Christian artist understood what he or she was doing and how they put that into practice, this handbook brings the world of the Byzantine artist back to life. Icon painting is opened up as a living art form for today's Church. The author, who has theology degrees from Oxford University and Heythrop College in London, has many years of icon teaching experience, founding the Bethlehem Icon School in 2010 at the Emmanuel Greek Catholic Monastery in Bethlehem, where he continues to teach from time to time. This handbook began as handouts for his students on the Prince's School of Traditional Arts icon painting course, while that was being run at the Bethlehem Icon Centre in Palestine, and has finally emerged as a companion to the online Academy Course in Icon Painting and for members of the Arbor Vitae Icon Academy which the author established during the Covid pandemic.