Tempera

Icons painted with egg tempera in the icon painting studio of St Elisabeth Convent.

Egg tempera is a traditional painting technique distinguished by high quality and durability.

Paints are made by the icon painter himself. The process is often referred to as "creation of paints" because the paint must not flake nor contain even tiniest grains — it has to be homogeneous enough to be considered a "new substance".

Icon painters who work at St Elisabeth Convent use only natural pigments to create paints, just like the ancients did. Minerals (lazurite, malachite, cinnabar, etc.) are ground and grated using a special pestle until they become powder. Egg yolk is used as a binder medium.

Brightness and elegance, visually perceived depth coupled with transparency — these are the features that make egg tempera so outstanding. Natural egg tempera is very durable. It does not fade with time; on the contrary, it solidifies, becoming like stone.

Apart from the icons shown in our catalog, you may have an icon painted according to your own sample. Please note that it will take at least a month to paint an icon, depending on its complexity.

A glass-fronted icon case (kiot) is highly recommended to protect your icon against adverse conditions. It will not only protect it from dust but also mitigate the damaging effects of humidity and temperature fluctuations. We strongly advise you to order an icon case if you plan to allow public access to the icon (e.g., place it in the church for veneration).

You can order any icon in our icon painting workshop, either by giving us your own specimen, or by choosing an icon from our archives, some of which are presented in this catalogue (family icons, wedding icons, namesake icons, measure icons, church icons, etc.)

Please note that the final prices of the items in our catalogue may be different from the quoted ones, depending on your location and method of delivery. We will contact you after you place an order confirming your order and specifying its final cost.

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