Painting the Image of Christ:

A Workshop with Master Iconographer Peter Murphy

August 6-10, 2018


This unique 5 day workshop will focus on creating an icon of Christ using two different but complimentary prototypes from the Western Tradition.  Students will be able to choose which specific style of icon that they want to work on. 

The first prototype will be based on an icon that Peter himself has developed, using the graphic language of English Romanesque Painting of the twelfth century. The focus of this icon, is on the rich decorative elements in the intertwined acanthus patterns of the border and the flowing rendition of the draperies, with clinging curvilinear modelling, and the famous English ‘damp fold,’ used by the Anglo-Byzantine masters of the twelfth century.  Peter has designed this icon specifically for this workshop.

The second prototype is taken from an Italo-Byzantine Panel from the collection in the Museo San Matteo in Pisa. This is by one of the leading ducento Italo-Byzantine masters, Francesco Da Pisa and as such was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in the exhibition ‘Byzantium’, in 2008. The background of this image is completely gilded using traditional water gilding techniques and even the robes of the figure of Christ are modelled in delicate webs of ‘assist’ gilded lines. 

In addition, for those who wish to practice their icon drawing skills, Peter will provide black and white line drawings of both panels on registration along with the interior dimensions of the panel. Those who wish can prepare drawings of their own to transfer onto the panels based on the prototypes provided.

N.B. This workshop can be counted towards studio credit for the MA of Sacred Arts through Pontifex University.

Peter Murphy is the founder of the St. Peter’s School for Sacred Art, Canterbury, U.K.  He regularly teaches iconography and egg tempera workshops throughout the United Kingdom as well as leading art history study tours to Italy.  He has been commissioned by a number of churches, notably Canterbury Cathedral,  Twekesbury Abbey, and Hereford Cathedral.

Fee:  $600 for SAGA Members; $650 for non-SAGA members.  The fee includes the gessoed board, gold leaf, and pigments.  Registrants will be provided with a supply list for the remaining items that they will need to bring.

Registration opens March 1st. 

A deposit of $300 is required in order to reserve your place in the workshop.  The balance will be due on July 1st. Payment may be made either by cheque or e-transfer. 

To pay by cheque, please make your cheque payable to the Sacred Arts Guild of Alberta and send it to: SAGA, 86 Cedargrove Lane SE, Calgary, T2W 6J1.  To pay by e-transfer, email: