Exploring the correlation between the metallic substances used on the gildings of Russian icons from the Benaki Museum collection and their artistic backgrounds

This study explores the gilding materials and techniques of 19 Russian Icons from the Benaki museum collection using non-destructive methodology.

Russian icons are artworks worth being studied due to the intricate stages of icon making, their original style of painting and colour pallet, their gilding and varnishing techniques, materials etc. In addition, Russian icons bear many similarities with other icons such as the post-Byzantine icons. An indicative example is the similarity between the Western water gilding technique and the Russian gilding technique with “poliment” that both use a red or yellow-earth/bolus substance underneath the metal leaf.