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The Old Testament Trinity Icon

The porcelain substrate

On the back of the panel is a trademark brand and a handwritten inscription in dark pigment: “The Holy Trinity painted by the artist S. Dmitrieva. 2018”.

This icon on a porcelain panel depicts a composition that is traditional in Old Russian icon painting, on the symbolic and doctrinal theme of the Old Testament Trinity. It was made at the Andreyevskaya Porcelain Manufactory by Svetlana Dmitrieva, a painter with more than 35 years of experience in porcelain.

In the center of the porcelain stratum, there is an Old Testament scene, surrounded by a symbolic landscape, with three figures of angels the travellers who appeared to righteous Abraham, revealing the threefold essence of God (God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit). Above them, in the upper left corner, there is an inscription in Cyrillic in the Old Slavonic language: “The Holy Trinity”.

The iconography of the icon goes back to the composition of the famous “Life-Giving Trinity” by Andrei Rublev as of the 15th century, where the angels are painted sitting at a table, composed in a circle, without emphasizing their hypostases, but having their own personalities.

The icon is painted on the white background of a porcelain panel. The clothes of the angels are vivid, in pure saturated tones, with a linear pattern of folds modeling the shape. The halos are gilded, burnished, with engraved beams denoting radiance. The hills in the icon and architectural elements are depicted in the characteristic style of icon painting, using color and line. The painting is fresh, assured; the color is bright, polychromatic, with a predominance of light colors.

The gilded wide frame gives off the completeness and integrity to the composition as it covers the image around the perimeter. The frame is decorated with jagged Begounets brick-like ornament and stylized curled plants made by the Sgraffito technique (engraving on gold) on background burnished smoothly by an agate stone.

The icon painted on porcelain by the artist Svetlana Dmitrieva has all the qualities of a canonical work of the Orthodox religion and can be used to decorate a church, an iconostasis or home interior.

Historically, the creation of icons on porcelain panels goes back to the period of the 1880s, the heyday of Russian porcelain industries. The creation of such works of art did not become widespread and now remains rare.

Experts acknowledge that the technology of painting on porcelain is particularly complex, since it involves changes in pigment color through heat during firing. The process of creating a work on porcelain may take several months, and high levels of detail in the painting and the unique color scheme can only be ensured by the master meticulously following the technological process.

Before commencing work, the artist compiles a technological chart for mixing pigments; trial colors are completed and a palette of shades is prepared. The painting is created by applying layer-upon-layer of colored glazes, with many layers of detailed brush strokes, each of which must be fixed in the firing process. In addition, there is a specific temperature treatment scale for each pigment. The technological process of creating the panel included 7 firings at 730 to 820°C.

The porcelain panel of the icon of the Old Testament Trinity demonstrates the high levels of technological and artistic skills achieved at the Andreyevskaya Porcelain Manufactory, and the company’s commitment to reviving the lost historical traditions of porcelain art.

The panel was produced as a single copy; it is mounted in a modern gilded frame.

The underlying panel: 
the underlying panel, 25х35 cm
gilded wood, 47х57 cm
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