The course offers a study of the ancient “floating” technique of icon painting in the Byzantine-Russian tradition, which reached its height in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Students are acquainted with the preparation of an icon board, learn gold leaf application by the bole method, study the horizontal “floating” technique of egg tempera, and are instructed how to finish the icon with boiled linseed oil. As in antiquity, natural materials are used, and the iconographic method is characterized by a multi-step process in which the succession of steps is concrete and definite, as in the liturgical services of the Church. Students are introduced to both the practical and theoretical parts of the ancient iconographic tradition: explanations of iconic symbolism and the theological and philosophical basis of each step of the process are presented in parallel with the technical instruction. The main goal of study is to uncover the world of one’s inner life and the principles of God’s Image and Action in it and in all of creation through the study of the symbolic, “reverse perspective” language. Thus, emphasis is placed on personal spiritual discipline and growth through a study of Christian Church teachings and principles.
Instructor: Vladislav Andrejev is the founder of the Prosopon School of Iconology. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, he received a formal education in fine art and developed an interest in religious art, which was impossible to practice during the Soviet regime. The search for deeper meaning in art and life led him to solitary travels in parts of the Russian wilderness, and to the independent study of icon and fresco painting with a monk icon-writer. Mr. Andrejev immigrated to the United States in 1980 and has been teaching iconography since 1985. He has written numerous icons, which can be seen in many churches and homes throughout the U.S. and the world. Over the years Mr. Andrejev’s iconographic technique and teaching method developed into a distinct school of painting and interpretation. In 2000, he formally established The Prosopon School of Iconology with the blessings of his hierarchs, to promote this method and understanding of iconography and iconology.