Portable Icon (iconostasis side door) of Saint Constantine and Helen.
H.C. of Saint Georgios| Edinercapu| Istanbul
ARTIS Gilding & Restoring conducted conservation treatments on a diverse set of portable painted artifacts, including ecclesiastical icons of particular skill as well as wood-carved works, such as the tabernacle and the Crucified Christ.
In accordance with the stylistic characteristics as well as the minimal inscriptions preserved, the collection is dated to the beginning from the 18th century to the mid-20th century.
The icon of Saints Constantine and Helen dates from the end of the 19th century, and functions as a door to the Southern Entrance to the Sanctuary of the Church of Saint George at Edirnekapı (Gate to Edirne/Adrianople) in Istanbul.
The Saints are depicted with imperial garments and crowns holding up a wooden cross with the inscription “I.N.B.I.” (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews—Ιησούς Ναζωραίος Βασιλεύς Ιουδαίων). In the background have been places gold leaves, while in the upper portion Christ is shown giving a blessing from the clouds.
ARTIS’ specialized scientists conducted the necessary conservation treatments on the work, simultaneously securing its technical endurance. Initially, the primer (backing support), in danger of detachment, was fixed onto the wooden panel. The wooden panel itself was also strengthened through the method of impregnation to ensure the static adequacy of the wood.
Then followed the removal – dry cleaning of the oxidized varnish and the aesthetic restoration of the icon. Finally, the proper varnish was applied so that the painted layers may be better protected. These procedures completed the process of restoring and unveiling the work.