Icons of Christ the Good Shepherd

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History and description of the icon of Christ the Good Shepherd

In the “Good Shepherd” icon of Jesus Christ, the Saviour appears as a young shepherd. On His shoulder, he is carrying a lost sheep, and in some variants, Christ is also portrayed with other good shepherd symbols: a rod, a flute and a cane. The icon’s theme is based on the Gospel. The lost sheep on Christ’s shoulders represents the lost human soul, which He saved with His sacrifice on the Cross. Underlining this idea, some versions of the icon show Christ with nail holes in His hands.

The icon is one of the earliest depictions of Christ in the flesh known from the times of the Roman catacombs. Although rare for the Russian iconographic tradition, it is still present in the homes of Orthodox believers. We turn to it for God's help in making important decisions in their lives, before starting a challenging project or setting off on a long journey.

The Good Shepherd Icon: process and delivery

At St Elisabeth Convent, we have been painting icons for decades, keeping true to the centuries-old techniques of ancient iconographers. Our works are found in churches and homes around the world and constitute treasured items in many private collections.

We use a time-tested process comprising the following stages:

  1. Prepare the board and the outer frame;
  2. Affix the linen with glue and apply several layers of gesso (‘levkas’);
  3. Transfer the drawing;
  4. Gild the background, halos and other elements;
  5. Paint the image from the background details to the face;
  6. Apply a protective layer of varnish.
  7. Place the icon in a kiot (optional, but strongly recommended for the best protection).

We make our paints from ground minerals and add egg yolk as an adhesive. This traditional technique - called tempera - has existed for centuries and relies exclusively on natural ingredients. You can order your icon of Christ the Good Shepherd from our catalogue. Select the size and variant that suits you best. Alternatively, order a custom-painted icon.

The prices include delivery and may vary depending on the size, materials, location and shipping preferences. We will contact you as soon as we receive your order to confirm the details of your order.