T H E    I C O N O G R A P H Y    A P P R E N T I C E    P R O G R A M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TECHNIQUE AND METHOD IN THE GREEK TRADITION

The origin of Byzantine Iconography is Greek by heritage and dates back to the 3rd century and earlier. Though iconography has grown to include many  cultural forms (such as Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Armenian, etc.), the Hagia Theodora School teaches the ancient and  most original Byzantine Iconography techniques of the Cretan, Macedonian, Constantinopolitan and Cypriot historical regions of Greece.

 

 These styles of Iconography are virtuosic in paint formulation and application, often featuring 100 or more fine layers of pain-staking applied, hand-ground egg tempera paint on the skin tones of its subjects. This "modeling" of paint layers causes the subjects to "glow" as refracted light travels through the many layers. The vestments and landscapes of these icons can also feature 50 layers or more of paint. Together with a unique, slow process of 24KT gold and varnish application, these icons are not only truly illuminated but prove to last the tests of time... hundreds, and even thousands of years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICONOGRAPHY IS MORE THAN AN ART, IT IS CONSIDERED A LIFESTYLE

The writing of icons encompasses more than the ability to paint. We use the descriptor "writing" as it most closely illustrates the iconographer's task as being the "scribe" (in image form) of the canons and traditions of the Eastern Christian Church. To carry out this reverent and honorable task, an iconographer must conduct his or her lifestyle in a pious manner incorporating prayer and fasting.

 

The Hagia Theodora School not only incorporates teachings on the theology and symbolism of Byzantine Iconography but also spiritual askesis (noetic exercise and discipline) to fortify a prayerful and attentive life. Lectures are delivered by our instructor and frequent guest speakers.

 

 

A new prototype designed by the School for the new St. Anne Melkite Cathedral which was presented to His Eminence, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Vatican City, Vatican.  

 

 

 

 

THE COMMEMORATION DAY OF

ST. THEODORA THE EMPRESS AND THE BLESSING OF THE ICONS

WITH FATHER ANTHONY SAVAS

 

 

It was befitting to plan the blessing of the Iconography School on the commemoration day of St. Theodora the Empress. Father Anthony Savas presided at the lovely al fresco event which was hosted by our former patron, Sylvia Manios (whose personal patron saint also happens to be Theodora).  

 

 

We began with a studious gathering of guests from the St. Nicholas Womenís Bible Study Ministry. Upon hearing Father Savasís message on the writings of St. Paul, we closed our bibles and gathered on the Schoolís patio. 

 

 

There, Father commemorated St. Theodora and bestowed blessings upon the icons and the School classroom. Icons and medals where brought by students and guests and included the newly completed St. Theodora resident icon by Hand Magdalene. 

 

 

We then ended our celebration with a luncheon of exquisite and artisanal dishes, fit for an empress!

 

 

In 2015 the School  became officially endorsed my His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of San Francisco.