Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More Angels in Foil

Omega left a comment a couple of days ago sending a link to Byzantine icons. I must admit I have had a liking for icons for a very long time- can't really remember when it started, but I have searched for them when I have been in Europe ( there are some beautiful ones in the Pinacoteca in Siena). There is something very peaceful about the images. I have a funny incident to tell about an icon too. In 1990 we were catching the train from Madrid to Paris and were in a sleeper. We were sharing the sleeper with a Japanese couple who were doing a whirlwind trip around the world( and I mean whirlwind- 7 days to fly from Tokyo, toMadrid for a night down to Cadiz for one night, back to Madrid, to Paris for a night, to London for a night, and home via New york for a night and San Francisco for a night- phew!) . Anyway they were delightful and told us they had been to Cadiz to buy an icon- we must have acted suitably impressed for the man then produced the thirteenth century icon they had purchased- about A4 size and aged but still beautiful.It was precious to him and he had it very carefully wrapped in tissue paper and cloth, and he held it ever so gently. A couple of years ago when I was in Vezelay ( in France and one of the towns on the Pilgrims route) there was an exhibition of Russian icons- they were stunning and the monastery at Vezelay seemed such a great place to see them, having to walk through the cloisters to the rooms.
This image comes from a little Ethiopian stone bible, so I presume the imagery may be Coptic. I have foiled the image but it is hard to see form the photograph because the flash reflects - but its effect is like the goldleaf ( though this is copper foil) used on icons- that kind of rubbed look. Posted by Picasa


Olga Norris said...

Dijanne, I thought you might be a fellow iconophile. I encountered them first as a child in church, and in fact took agin them because I always dreaded having to kiss just where everyone else had kissed. Yuk!
However, they never left my head, and I've always been drawn to the simple flat style of the figure both in and separate from its patterned and/or stylised surroundings. It's the icon 'feel' as style that inspires my embroideries. They and mosaics have been a great influence.

I was interested when Michael James was influenced by Russian icons. It's fascinating to see what different artists take out of the same starting point.

cfent said...

i really like these pieces.......
claire just wakign up and gettgin going....... later!