Apart from the monks in monasteries who keep alive the tradition of icon painting in contemporary Greece, there are few professional icon painters whose work does not fall into the 'mass-produced' category; there are even fewer women practicioners of the art, like the painter Sophia Portalakis-Armaos.

She employs the traditional technique of eggshell on prepared canvas stretched over wood, and 22-karat gold for the background. Her inspiration is derived from the Cretan School of hagiography and her themes come from museums, monasteries and private collections. Her childhood memories from Crete, where she was born and raised, meet familiar religious themes to produce icons which, while true to the traditions of icon painting, are discreetly enriched with personal elements, particularly in terms of colour.

© ART TOPOS, 1996, 1999
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