14.5 x 13 in   37 x 32 cm
Egg Tempera on Wood Panel
Simon Ushakov
Novodevichi Convent - Moscow

The ikon is part of an angel Deesis with the Archangels Michael and Gabriel on other sides of Christ. Emmanuel means "God with us" and Christ Emmanuel is an ikon that celebrates the incarnation, when God became man and lived among us. Ikons of Christ Emmanuel always show our Lord as a young child.

The artist has used the traditional egg tempera technique to create a soft sfumato. Sfumato is the Italian term for an oil painting technique which overlays translucent layers of colour to create perceptions of depth, volume and form. In particular, it refers to the blending of colours or tones so subtly that there is no perceptible transition. This effect is diffficult to create in egg tempera, requiring thousands of very fine brush strokes laid upon each other to create soft transitions of color and tone.

The artist has used a soft pistaschio green background and has painted Christ's robes in red and green with gold highlights.

photo credit: VEB Graphische Werkstatten, Leipzig

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