RUSSIAN ICONS: SPIRITUAL AND MATERIAL ASPECTS
VERA BEAVER-BRICKEN ESPINOLA
Derived from the Greek eikon, an icon in its broadest definition is any image or portrait figure. According to Christian tradition, the earliest icon was an image of Christ's face left on a cloth variously called Veronica's Veil, The Holy Mandylion, The Vernicle, or as referred to in Russian, The Image Not Made with Hands. Many early Christian icons were painted, but many others were also made of mosaics or metal by repoussť and chasing, or casting, or by carving in stone or ivory.
When Russia was baptized into the Eastern Orthodox faith in 988, it adopted these icon forms and more, such as embroidered textiles, enamels, and carved bone and wood. Because the topic is so broad, this paper focuses only on Russian wooden icons painted in tempera and their metal oklads (covers).