17 Comments

  1. Fr David

    Stunning, and an intriguing process.

  2. Christopher Mihaly

    Absolutely stunning work as usual! I really enjoyed how you included all the aspects that the college required while still maintaining the necessary hagiography. Natalia and yourself are both truly talented. Is the font you designed available anywhere?

    1. As a computer font? No. Maybe someone with that skill would like to make it so. I always draw inscription lettering by hand.

      1. Nun Katherine Weston

        Are all the letters available as a hand-drawn alphabet if another iconographer wishes to adapt something similar. For example, how would you write the J, Q, or Y?

        1. I haven’t drawn out an entire alphabet, but you can see some additional letters in the inscriptions Natasha painted on these two icons, which we worked on at the same time as St. Katherine:
          https://www.dropbox.com/s/dggxf6qqruvpx20/NWB_0285.JPG?dl=0
          https://www.dropbox.com/s/if9vudmat9bf13x/NWB_0292.JPG?dl=0

  3. Rdr James Morgan, Olympia WA

    Masterful job, Andrew and Natalia! I hope and pray that some of the students revere this icon and turn to Orthodoxy!

  4. Sr. Jeana Visel, OSB

    Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing.

  5. This is wonderful information and a stunning icon of St. Katherine. Beautifully conceived as to detail. Thanks so much for sharing this. Glory to God in His Saints!

  6. Dorothy S Allen

    I thought it was both masterful iconography and appropriate for the purpose and setting.

  7. Seb Sanyal

    Wonderfully vibrant. Deeply reverential.
    It will draw and edify many, to be sure.

  8. John Wheeler

    Profoundly beautiful icon and backstory. To donate, I must use a check from my Discretionary Fund…Address???

  9. Catherine

    A magnificent hagiography of a beautiful saint. The work and detail is impeccable. Glory to God for your talents. I am sure that the architect would have approved of having such a beautiful icon placed in his Gothic design.
    I pray that we will be able to have prints made for purchase.

  10. John

    Too much gold for my taste . I think it tends to dominate an otherwise really lovely ikon.
    Thanks for sharing context and process.

  11. Miles

    Beautiful. Wonderful job incorporating all of the requests of the clients as well. Question: is this painted in egg tempera or acrylic? The photos make it look like it was painted in acrylic.

    1. Natasha painted it using Master Class brand PVA tempera, which is made in St. Petersburg. This is chemically similar to acrylic paint, but formulated to behave more like egg tempera.

  12. Bess Chakravarty

    Thank you for this article explaining your composition process. The research into appropriate figures and the background make this such a clear image of St. Katherine. It is truly a venerable icon. Congratulations to both of you.

  13. Elizabeth Carney-Goeking

    Thank you for sharing the story of how both you and the iconographer worked together to create an educational and compelling icon.

    Some features caught my attention. For instance, the size of St. Katherine compared to the other aspects in the icon. You mentioned that as is a devotional icon, you wanted St. Katherine to be larger than the other figures and structures. You fulfilled your goal in that, also I like how her size interacts with the lighthouse. Both the ancient and current lighthouses stand as symbols of the progress, power, and intellectual glory of the ancient city of Alexandria, yet those substantial accomplishments pale in comparison to the life-giving message taught by St. Katherine. Even the small detail of the flame, ie. knowledge or truth, shining in the small window in the lighthouse being the same color as her robe makes the same comparative statement. Perhaps I am off-base in my reaction to those details, but for me that comparison deepens St. Katherine’s message to whomever encounters the icon.

    I am also especially taken with the facial and hand expressions of the Ethiopian philosopher. He is looking at the person encountering the event in the icon, and his eyes, facial expression, and hand are inviting us to listen to St. Katherine’s teaching and to encounter God, even if it means, as I’m sure those martyred philosophers understood even before the debate, that we may lose our life. This is a deeply powerful invitation.

    As a previous commenter noted, I too hope that it will soon be possible to obtain a copy of this icon. I am going to forward this article to a very dear friend of mine from Ethiopia who, with her husband, is studying in the United States. Her life, like the expression and hand of the Ethiopian in the icon, is an invitation to know and love God. May God bless you and Natalia Aglitskaya in your lives and your work.

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