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Dionysius of Fourna, a Greek icon painter from the 18th century, relates in his Hermeneia about the holy and venerable nature of work in which the icon painters are engaged. "Work well, my friend, do not complain, but show diligence so as to learn and master this art, for this is a holy gift given by God Himself. This is for many clear, but especially for the venerable icon not made by human hand, where however Jesus Christ, God the Man, left His face imprinted and sent it to Abgar, the King of Edessa on the holy cloth. And, as everybody knows, His holy virgin mother is also very much pleased with such a thing and she prayed for the Saint Apostle Luke and blessed him for his talent by saying: "May the gift of He, who was born of me, through me, be with you!"

 

An icon painter should also be a master of his craftsmanship. He needs to know his materials and get familiar with the form and size requested for the representation of various themes. Moreover, all these aspects should be tackled with piety and reason: the real icon painter is engaged in a work of divine expression. He has to be a master of "the science of sciences and the art of arts". He should also be familiar with the art of the prayer of the heart, so that his iconography could reflect not only the Holy Tradition, but also his own experience of the divinity that restores him according to the face and being of God.

 

 

 

 

 

This is who we are or should be, those who are gracefully dedicated to this divine world, hoping that together with the byzantine icon painters (whose patterns we faithfully observe), we shall take one further step on the path towards salvation.