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‘TECHNIQUES OF ICON AND WALL PAINTING: Egg Tempera, Fresco, Secco’ by Aidan Hart

The most comprehensive book to date on the techniques of icon and wall painting, this work has established itself as the seminal work on the subject. A Polish translation is now published, available via Amazon. 460 pages. Over 450 colour illustrations and over 160 drawings. 227mm x 278mm. Hard cover, £40. Gracewing Publishers. Second edition, now with index, 2015.


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This is the most comprehensive book to date on the techniques of icon and wall painting. Illustrated by over 450 colour ilustrations and over 160 drawings, it is a source of pleasure and inspiration for the general reader as well as for the practising icon painter. More than just a technical manual, it sets artistic practice in the context of the Church’s spirituality and liturgy, with chapters on the theology and history of the icon, and the reasons behind the placement of wall paintings within churches.

An index for the book is now available to downloaded here.

Some comments:
“I know of no comparable work in the English language that deals with the technique of icon painting in such a thorough and comprehensive manner. Yet, while concerned with technique, the treatment is never merely technical. At every point we see how technique reveals a transfigured world. Spirituality and technology are combined together, so that each illuminates the other.”
From the Preface by Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan of Diokleia

“The wealth of information in this book makes it an indispensable reference not only for iconographers but also for any painter using egg tempera, fresco or secco. It covers all the necessary processes, including the making and gessoing of wooden panels, gilding, preparing pigments, the various techniques for painting in tempera, as well as lime plastering and fresco, right through to photographing finished artwork.”
From the Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales

“This book makes known to us a craft, but more importantly it is the Confessio of a man who epitomizes the liturgical beauty of the Orthodox Church. He is full of joy and this same joy he communicates to us: with his heart he loves, and with his hands he fashions matter. He uses pencil, brush, chisel. He carves wood and stone, works with metal. He fashions form and colour. He manifests the Spirit. And he confesses that ‘The Word became flesh’. Thus you see not only how a holy icon is made within the Church, but also how the human person made as an icon of God struggles to become holy.”

Archimandrite Vasileios, Iviron Monastery, Mount Athos, Greece

“Aidan Hart combines the vision of the contemplatitive with the skill of a gifted artist. For those many people for whom Icons are a door into the divine there cannot be a better guide.
Dr. Richard Chartres, Bishop of London

“An icon is visual theology, the Word of God. It can only be written in truth by one who seeks and loves this holy Word. Aidan Hart understands this to the depth.”
Sister Wendy Beckett, contemplative nun and author on art