1. Rhonda Dodson

    It’s good to see an article authored by you again, Fr Silouan. Thank you for such an informative & thought-provoking piece.

  2. I appreciate your willingness to step outside conventional use of color and its referential meanings, dear Father. But I do think “seems to gently smile” is a bit of a stretch. 😉

    1. Fr. Silouan Justiniano

      Lol…Yes, maybe you’re right. What I meant was that there is something gentle about his gaze and demeanor in general. Thanks for being candid as usual. I always appreciate your comments, Baker.

    2. I think I can see the smile. The slight angle of his mouth and the puckered cheeks suggest that he might be smiling under his beard. But he could just as easily be stern. He reminds me of some monks I’ve met, who seem to be always correcting people and laughing joyfully all at once.

      This a magnificent and important icon, Fr. Silouan. Your unusual use of colors in his face really makes him seem saturated with light that is not quite of this world. This is a great example of painterly technique to represent visual truth that is beyond normal perception.

      I’m impressed how his posture and form so accurately represent a frail old man, and that this is readable through all the thick clothing he’s wearing. It really seems like a painting of a specific actual person of great character and grace, and not just another instance of ‘bearded monk typology’. It leaves me feeling like I now know the man. An amazing accomplishment.

      1. Fr. Silouan Justiniano

        Thank you Andrew. I’m glad to see that I wasn’t just imagining things. You very effectively capture with words the subtleties of the icon. Yes, I think it is crucial for the icon painter to aim to capture the saint as a “specific actual person”. We should sense his living presence.

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