Some Physical Features of Icons

Because the intent of iconography was that the artwork be usable in the church for many years, even centuries, a unique process of iconography was developed to ensure preservation. Many layers, consisting of loosely woven linen, a glue and chalk mixture, gold, and egg tempera paint using earth tones, make up the icon. “The icon is an image painted in tempera, with pigments of natural colors mixed into egg yoke. It is painted upon the surface of a wooden board covered with a preparation of plaster mixed with glue.”101