Icons on glass

Icon painting on glass is an old craft which appeared for the first time in Byzantium. In Romania it first appeared in the Ardeal region, in the XVII century, being used for representing religious themes, with references to aspects from the real day to day life of the countryside people.  From here it spread to all areas of the country, each area leaving its imprint on the style and the techniques of the process.

Painting icons on glass was not the main occupation of those who practiced it. After the daily work on the filed or during the season that didn’t allow the work on the filed, the peasants dedicated their time to this activity.

The painting of icons on glass is done on the back side of it; this means the margins and all the composition must be drawn like in a mirror so that, when the glass is reversed, the image looks correct.

The initial phase is the drawing of the margins using a very thin brush   or pen. After they are finished you pass to the coloring of the faces present in the icon, many times being necessary to ad more layrs of paint before covering all the areas.

For certain models, especially in the case of large or miniature icons, golden foils are used in order to stress some areas like the halo of the saints.

The last phase is the frame created manually from different types of wood depending on the type of icon. This way, for the popular icons, we use lax type of wood (fire tree and linden) while for miniature icons we use a hard type of wood (beech, oak).