Saltar al contenido


Icons, i.e. images of holy people, were an important part of the Byzantine Christian Church from the 3rd century AD onwards. Venerated in churches, public places and private homes, they were often believed to have protective properties. 

The veneration of icons divided the Church in the 8th and 9th centuries as two opposing camps developed, those for and against their use in Christian worship, a situation that led to the destruction of many icons and the persecution of those who worshipped them.

Today, universities, theological schools, schools of the arts, institutions and experts in the field have developed training programs on Byzantine icons. These programs are presented as Courses on Byzantine Icons. Many are free of charge.

The aim of these courses is for students to understand and learn the artistic practices as well as the philosophy of Orthodox iconography. The Byzantine Icon Courses are divided into individual steps; the instructor explains the principles and then demonstrates each phase in detail, answering all the questions.

Through the process of demonstrations, the stages and the complete method of painting an icon will be presented. Students will then put these skills into practice under the guidance of the instructor. The main benefit of study is considered to be the discovery of the world of the inner life through the specific discipline of this ancient sacred art. 

What are the Byzantine Icon Courses ?

A Byzantine Icon Course is a training program in Byzantine art. This course provides knowledge of techniques of interpretation of iconic symbols of this art and their creation. This course is good for beginner or more advanced students, as it skillfully individualizes instruction based on each student’s experience and ability.

The course is conducted using egg tempera techniques, Byzantine tetrachrome palette (four colors) with in-depth drawing instruction and gold leaf in the same traditional manner as it was in Byzantine times. Generally in this course the participant will paint an icon using paints made of egg yolk and colored powders and gild the icon with gold leaves

The Byzantine Icon Course will guide you step by step, through the ancient techniques of Byzantine iconography. Usually the course provides all the necessary materials: prepared wood, brushes, colors, golden leaves, etc.

This course is a traditional artistic expression of theology and spirituality, often called the “meeting place of the Divine”. Whether you are an absolute beginner or an advanced artist, this workshop offers the opportunity to learn or refine your techniques in this sacred art.

Painting techniques will be taught in a clear and concrete manner, allowing students to follow the instructor to obtain the result of a beautiful icon. During the course participants will complete an icon.

Program, Subjects and Content of the Byzantine Icon Course

These are some of the topics that can be included in the program content of a Byzantine Icons Course:

  • The Theology of the Icon
  • Preparation of the wooden icon panel,
  • Learn the application of gold leaf by the bole method
  • Process of painting in egg tempera
  • Floating” technique – painting with highly diluted paint
  • Enamel painting technique
  • Learn how to finish the icon with boiled linseed oil.
  • Symbolism of the icon
  • The meaning of the iconology and the theological basis of each step of the process is presented in parallel with the technical instructions

Countries and Cities Where You Could Study the Byzantine Icons Course for Free Getting a Scholarship

  • Greece
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany

Institutes, Centers and Universities Where the Free Byzantine Icons Course is Possibly Taught, through Scholarships

Byzantine Icon Painting Workshop

  • Atelier Pilarinos – Babis Pilarinos
  • Athens, Greece.

Byzantine Icon Painting Workshop

  • San Gerard Majella Roman Catholic Church.
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Byzantine-Style Iconography Courses

  • Serbian Heritage Academy of Canada
  • Toronto, Canada.

Byzantine-Style Icon Painting Workshop

  • Sheptytsky Institute of Oriental Christian Studies
  • Toronto, Canada.

Byzantine Iconography Course

  • Ikon Atelier
  • Melbourne, Australia.

Byzantine Icon Painting Workshop

  • Theodoros Papadopoulos
  • Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nektarios
  • London, UK.

Master Class in Byzantine Icon Painting

  • St. Marien zu Helfta
  • Eisleben, Germany.

Reference Prices for the Byzantine Icons Course

The prices of the Byzantine Icon Courses are varied. The difference in cost of these courses will depend on factors such as the country where the course is given, the institution that gives the course, the level of the course and to whom it is given, materials provided during the course, the modality, timetables, among other factors. These courses have costs ranging from $125 to $450, and in some cases may have a higher cost.

Click for Other Studies at Different Academic Levels

Related Topics

Other Topics of Interest in ALPHAPEDIA

Image of Free Course