Description: Panagia is holding the Christ Child on her right arm, while with her other arm she presents him to the viewer, beseeching him to save mankind. The Christ Child is tenderly embracing his mother, resting his cheek on hers.
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This type of icon where the two faces are touching, cheek to cheek, is known as the Glykophilousa. It presents the Theotokos in her capacity as mother, while also symbolizing her as the mother of God. We know she is listened to, by her Son and is an intercessor and protector of all mankind.
Technique of Iconography
For the creation of her icons, Nayia Kaplanidou uses the authentic Byzantine technique. The various materials are all natural and are prepared and processed by the painter herself.
Preparation: To make the wood of the icon a stable surface for the painting, she glues a cotton canvas onto its surface. Then she proceeds with the traditional priming made with gypsum and rabbit skin glue.
Gilding: For the gilding she uses genuine gold leaves and for their application she uses bole past mixed with fish gelatin. Finally, the gold surface gets burnished with agate stone.
Painting: For the painting she uses dry pigment colors mixed with egg yolk and vinegar (egg tempera).
Varnish: The varnish of the painting is made with Chios mastic. As for the wood of the icon, it is protected and polished with genuine bee wax.
Nayia Kaplanidou was born in Thessaloniki in 1962. After graduating from “Anatolia” American College, she attended the School of Fine Arts in Florence, where she studied painting and preservation of art works. In 1987, she took Master classes in Byzantine Iconography in Heraklion, Crete and since then has concentrated in Iconography. In 1996, she founded the School of Greco-Byzantine Hagiography in Florence where she also taught the art of Iconography. She lived, studied and worked in Florence from 1981 until 2000. Today she lives and works in Thessaloniki. Many of her icons can be found in Catholic churches in Italy and in private collections in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. She has also worked on the preservation of frescos dating from the Middle Ages in Florence. She has held six solo exhibitions and has participated in several group exhibitions in Italy and Greece. In her Icon painting, she employs the authentic Byzantine technique using only natural materials (beeswax, Chios mastic, red clay, fish gelatin, egg yolk, powder colors e.t.c.), which she prepares herself. Her work has received many positive reviews by experts, such as Padre Lamberto Crociani and p. Pavlos Politis.