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Relief Gesso Workshop in Saint Petersburg (Russia)

Relief Gesso image - Detail of relief icon Last Supper by lga Shalamova

Workshop schedule:

Monday 17 - Thursday 20 February 2020, 9:00 - 14:00 with a coffee break.


Feodorovsky cathedral. Mirgorodskaja street 1B, 191024, Saint Petersburg, Russia
See the Feodorovosky Catherdal web-site >>

See the Feodorovosky Catherdal on Google maps >>

Who should attend:

This particular workshop is universal. It fits both advanced students and novices, who from the very beginning wish to gain a professional approach. Those, who have studied with us testify, that learning visual grammar instead of patterns saves time and energy. Our principle is to teach rules and responsibility instead of pre-made contemporary interpretations of traditional iconography language.

Workshop description:

We will dedicate the Day 1 session to general introduction into the gesso preparation and relief gesso in general, - some practical work, some lectures and preparation for Day 2 session. The Day -2 we will start with a lecture about the principles of ornaments, then we draw the ornament with a pencil, prepare the gesso and start applying it. The Third day can be mostly dedicated to Gesso application, with one or two lectures about principles of interaction of materials in iconography and something else. Relief Gesso Icon-writing workshop The Fourth day we can clean up the pencil marks and see a number of examples for coloring the relief gesso, - an extremely responsible part. This may sometimes take more time, than the gessoing itself, but we will prepare some pigments, which normally give good results, so all should be fine. The afternoons are dedicated to self-guided tours to Hermitage and Russian Museum. I also suggest visiting Icon Writing Institute at Optina Pustyn Metohion (Iconography Institute at Optina Podvorie) on Naberezhnaja Lejtenanta Shmidta (about 2 km across the river from Hermitage, - where I teach fresco painting. We will see a recently restored church, works of students and some images produced by Iconography Symposium.

Registering for the workshop, make sure you give us your actual contact information. We will only use it to communicate with you about the workshop and nothing else. We never use any personal data of our students/subscribers in any other way nor for any other purpose.

About the instructors:

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova are founders of Sacred Murals Studio (Saint Petersburg, Russia). Philip holds an M.A. in State Fine Art from the Academy of Saint Petersburg, faculty of Theory and History of Art. He is a professional, second-generation iconographer with more than 15 years of teaching experience. He is also a professor at the Institute of Theology and Sacred Arts and the head of The Sacred Murals Studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova
Olga Shalamova holds an M.A. in State Fine Art from the Academy of Saint Petersburg, faculty of Theory and History of Art. She is a member of the Union of Artists of Russia and is the chief artist of the embroidery workshop at Feodorovsky Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. She is also an active participant in exhibitions of contemporary ecclesiastical art.

Philip's and Olga's goal and the goal of their studio is to create icons and murals within the Christian tradition that are also contemporary works of Christian sacred art. Philip shares this creative and responsible approach as well as his own experience and professional discoveries with his students at his workshops.


Because the course is being held in the winter, there should be no shortage of reasonably priced accommodation options in Saint Petersburg.