Lifegiving Spring, Russian icon, 2006|
Ksenia Pokrovsky (b. 1942)
Egg tempera, mineral pigments, gold leaf, wood
Collection of the artist
Photography by Jason Dowdle
One of the hallmarks of icon writing is inverse perspective. Ksenia Pokrovsky describes as a special way to organize space. Instead of comparing the icon to a picture, she compares it to looking out a window, "because when you look at something through [a] window, you can look from different positions."
The stylized figures and religious themes of icons are conventionally created with natural pigments in the egg-tempera medium. Ksenia uses pigments made from clay, minerals, rocks, ore, and semiprecious gems - many of which she grinds and refines herself because they are not easily available commercially and because the "Colors are so noble and natural, strong and tender."