About Studio Sanctus.

Justin VennWhat I specialize in is traditional Byzantine iconography, the sacred art of Orthodox Christianity, starting from the early centuries after Christ, and continuing through an unbroken line all the way up to the present day. This ancient art, being a truly spiritual art, is inseparable from its religious context. One could accurately describe it as the visual manifestation of the theology of the Church, or to put it more simply, the Gospel in images.

The techniques involved in creating such art are fully traditional, predating the art of the Renaissance. Wooden boards, gesso grounding, natural pigments and egg tempera binding, water and oil gilding, varnishes, fresco, secco, etc, many of these techniques are of course used today by secular artists, but in the Byzantine tradition everything is used in a very particular way, following the specific system of Byzantine art.

Only natural products go into my work, maintaining the high standards of the masters. What I produce is a high quality work of art, not only made to be admired for its own intrinsic beauty, but to be used as an object of liturgical worship. Of course, here in South Africa, the Orthodox community, which is the natural home of the icon, is fairly small, and so even if my icons won’t be quite used to their fullest in the sense of being appreciated as liturgical objects, I feel that they have a power of their own and speak for themselves to anyone who looks upon them, and it is indeed for this reason that they are created. Byzantine art is nothing short of a form of communion with God.

My main sphere of work is portable icons, however, fresco, secco, and mosaic are also possible on request.

Private lessons may also be arranged. For any inquiries please do not hesitate to contact me.