Iconographers translate revealed scripture and divine truths into visual images, crafting the icon with consecrated brushes, paints, and materials. Ideally, they should be pious individuals trained by holy fathers. Monks and nuns, therefore, have traditionally been the primary source of icons. Most iconographers utside of monasteries today have commercialized the sacred art of iconography.
Iconographers should pray, fast, and avoid worldly excitement during their work. Individual interpretation should be kept to a minimum as their task is to pass on tradition by replicating previous icons within prescribed limits. Works should remain anonymous, but if signed, be inscribed with the words, "By the hand of [name]."
Fr. Paul Akmolin
Fr. Paul is an iconographer in the Jordanville school and is the priest of Christ the Savior Orthodox Mission in Wayne, WV. You can view his iconography and commission icons from him through his site Orthodox hand-painted icons
"Bringing Eastern Mysticism to a western world"
"Damianakis, the world's premier Byzantine artist, has been a pioneer in Byzantine art movement since 1980. This painter, sculptor, and muralist is one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of our time. To date, in addition to his spectacular paintings of a wide variety of Christian Orthodoxy Damianakis has completed more than 500 works and landmark murals throughout the World. He has more than 100 collectors of his work on four continents, and perhaps more than any other artist, he perpetuates the spiritual consciousness of Christianity through his Orthodox Art and Christian model".
Mr. Damianakis has rendered historical icons for the Historic visit of Pope Benedict to Constantinople, His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew to the USA as well as numerous others. His work can be seen at his website www.orthodoxiconography.com
With the technique of a gifted servant, Elias hand paints portable icons for private devotion as well as large wall murals to suit the needs of the individual or community. He incorporates various techniques into his work including egg tempera, fresco, secco, gold gilding and produces his own paints from pigments. He renders complete restoration of portable icons and wall murals.
Elias lives his faith and understands his ministry as an Orthodox Iconographer working in the United States. He is currently accepting commissions for iconography for Orthodox communities and laity.
Elias is a man of talent, integrity and devotion.
He has worked with Philip Zimmerman of St. John of Damascus Icon Studio since he began as Phil's apprentice in 1991. In 1998 Matthew started his own Studio, and takes both large and small commissions, as well as continuing to collaborate with Mr. Zimmerman.
His work hangs in homes and churches across the United States. Matthew works with acrylic paints, and uses 23K gold leaf. He specializes in unusual subjects, complex compositions, and great detail.
You can view his gallery at www.holy-icons.com
Bridget Julia Hayes
Bridget Julia Hayes is an iconographer living in Tshwane, South Africa.
While his schooling concentrated on the fine arts, he never received formal instruction in Byzantine iconography, and is essentially self-taught. Close observation of many historically important Byzantine icons, which he had the opportunity to view while travelling in Greece and throughout the Holy Lands, helped him in learning to use and develop the traditional techniques used to create these unique paintings. The icons are handcrafted with great care using 22kt. German gold leaf and the highest quality acrylic pigments. Icons are created on panels with a raised border and murals are painted on canvas which can then be adhered to the wall surface. Along with samples of traditional iconography in the gallery, you can also view samples of glass and marble etchings.
In his artwork, Matthew employs many different painting techniques, producing completed artworks in various genres ranging from Byzantine icons, to traditional oil paintings. He is currently an accomplished professional graphic artist, working as Art Director at a major publishing house in the United States.
His website is www.byzantinestudio.com.
Born in Greece, she moved to North America in 1990 and since 1991 she has lived in Houston, TX, with her husband and two daughters. She studied Byzantine iconography and had her apprenticeship in the atelier of Mr. Hantzaras, one of the leading iconographers in Greece. She continued her studies in art at the University of Houston. During the past 20 years, she painted in many mediums including oils, acrylics, watercolors, but her primary medium is the egg tempera, one of the oldest and most versatile mediums.
Her website is www.heavenlyart.net
Fr. Anthony Salzman
Fr. Anthony is currently pastoring a small community, St. Philothea, in Athens, Georgia, where he is continuing to paint icons for churches and individuals including Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Augusta, Georgia. He is also teaching Byzantine icon-writing at the University of Georgia through the Continuing Education department. Fr. Salzman has a Masters of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and studied Byzantine Iconography and Byzantine Art History for six years in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Fr. Salzman is available for slide lectures and demonstrations on the history, theology, and art of Byzantine iconography. Email him for more information; his email address is on his site.
His website is Image and Likeness Iconography.
Archpriest Andrew Tregubov
Tatiana Romanova-Grant is a Russian-born iconographer. In 1974 she began to study the restoration of ancient art, working with the masters at the Grabar Restoration Center in restoring icons from the 13th to 18th centuries. She restored icons and frescos for the Russian Orthodox Church, and soon her restoration work led to painting new icons. In addition to icons and frescos, Tatiana also is a master of the miniature art of creating traditional icon eggs.
Since 1989 Tatiana Romanova-Grant has been working out of San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California.
Her website is http://spiritualpaintings.com.
Alphabetical Listing of Modern Iconographers
- Archimandrite Kyprian (Pyzhov)