Friday, January 07, 2011

Coptic Stella Maris icon

Stephane Rene, who painted this icon, is a contemporary artist trained in the Coptic tradition. He is based in London and teaches at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. Many Coptic icons I have seen have a rough folksy feel to them. Stephane Rene’s however have a flow, grace and polish that goes beyond that and he describes his style as ‘neo Coptic’.

This particular icon has been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. I especially like the monochrome designs in the decorative border (for those who are surprised that this should be on an icon, I refer you to a previous article ‘Why Frame a Picture?’.

I could not get hold of a large image to paste into this article. But readers can see one here as well as an article about the commission from the Apostleship of the Sea, which presented it to the Pope in Rome to be blessed.

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Coptic icon of Christ and St Mena, 6th century

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