Painting the Icon of Saint Andrew and the Tradition of Sacred Art by Guillem Ramos-Poquí
This icon is not a copy of any existing icon. Inspired by Scripture and rooted in the Byzantine-Italian Sienese Sacred Tradition (icons, frescoes, enamels, illuminated manuscripts). It attempts to contribute to a much needed contemporary renewal. The face and garments of the apostle Saint Andrew draw, for his depiction, from a Byzantine icon of the Twelve Apostle and, more particularly, from the representation of the saint in Duccio's Maestá altarpiece in Sienna. For some people icons are relegated to egg-tempera on a wooden panel prepared with perfectly smooth gesso. But here this is extended to embrace in a harmonious manner, the egg-tempera of textured gesso echoing the qualities of fresco, combined with echoes of encaustic and enamels. This enhances and expands the harmonies and interrelations of colour-textures, and in relation to a Sacred Geometry scheme consisting of the pure forms: circles, squares and triangles. The Apostle Andrew is considered 'The First Called'. Him and his brother Peter were fishermen. Tradition tell us that, in the banks of Jordan, Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. When Jesus was revealed as the Christ: ‘The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah“ ‘(John 1:41). The three lunettes follow New Testament sources and that of Tradition. As follows: 1) ‘.... 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.’ (Matthew 4:18-20) 2) ‘.... 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.’ (Matthew 4:18-20) 3) St Andrew was crucified on an X cross in Patras, Greece. Under the emperor Constantine the Great, the relics of St. Andrew were solemnly transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles. Some of these relics reached Scotland, where St. Andrew is the patron saint. In this lunette there is a thistle, the National emblem of Scotland, and on the right the Scottish Episcopal (Anglican) Church of St. Andrew in 4 Bothwell Road, Glasgow G71 7ET, Scotland, for which the icon was commissioned, and it is scheduled to be blessed, God willing, in the church by the Bishop of Glasgow on Ascension Day (25.05.2017).
Guillem Ramos-Poquí Icon of Saint Andrew: Analysis of Sacred Geometry: Circles, squares, triangles