Friday, June 21, 2013

Question on Icon Inscriptions and Translations

I am currently doing two icons of saints that have scrolls in their hands.  For one, all images I can find of him are in either Slavonic or Greek.  Another icon I'm painting also has a scroll but it is in French! Anyway, it's taken me awhile to find a person to translate the French (two people actually) and through a little back and forth, we came up to a translation that fits the saint.  For the other icon I searched the Prologue of Ochrid to read up on the Saint and found a quote that can be attributed to him.  Further internet googling gave me another quote similar to the one in the Prologue.  I don't know if it is "kosher" but the person who commissioned the icon liked the quote and that is what will go onto the scroll. I'm gonna send this off to ether land and see if this can be a beginning of a conversation.

Does anyone have any other ideas of where to find inscriptions and their translations?  I know there are resources out there but I have my suspicions they are in the iconography studios of Orthodox monasteries.


  1. Just a note of introduction: My name is Mona Karadsheh Soot, I graduated from SVS in 1986 with a Master's degree, and spent much of my time studying iconology while at Seminary, and then began the MTh program at SVS with an emphasis in iconography/iconology. I'm only saying this so that it's understood I feel strongly about not just stating "opinion", but expressing the teaching of the Church, especially as it relates to icons. With that being said, it is absolutely okay to put on the scroll that a Saint holds, just about anything that is attributed to him/her. I'm really excited about this site!

    1. Matushka, so very nice of you to comment. Please feel free to share any of your thoughts and what you have learned about icons and icon writing - their history, symbolism and theology. This site is not just for technical questions about actual painting.
      as you see, it's been a long time since I visited this site. I have finished the icon of St William ~ the one with the French wording on the scroll. I will try to post a photo of it. Now on to the other one.