Icon Painting Course

Icons in Orthodox Christianity depict Christ, saints and angels. Their purpose is liturgical, that is, they offer a means of communion between heaven and earth. The style of traditional icons suggests a material world transfigured, radiant with divine light and love, seen not only with the bodily eyes but also with the eye of the heart.

Although icons have been associated primarily with the Orthodox Church, a much broader demand for them has grown exponentially over the past decades. To help meet this need, in 2009 the Prince’s School established a more in-depth course of training for iconographers than hitherto existed in the West.

The Icon Painting Course is a three-year part-time course, taught by the practitioner iconographer Aidan Hart. The students gather seven times a year for an intensive three days. Further studies are given for students to execute at home. Classes are held in the beautiful medieval town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire in the West Midlands. Demand is usually high, so a selection process is used to choose twelve students from among the applicants.

What the course offers

The Icon Painting Course covers the techniques of egg tempera icon panel painting, placing these in the context of the Orthodox Church’s theology of the icon. The tutor, Aidan Hart, has been a professional iconographer for over thirty years, and is author of the standard work, “Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting”.

Areas studied include: monochrome studies in order to gain a good understanding of iconographic form; pigment and panel preparation; gilding; techniques of egg tempera icon painting; theology of the icon; business skills. 
The course is limited to the same twelve students for the duration of the three-year course, so that the tutor can give his time to this one group. 
Students will be expected to do at least four hours of additional painting a week at home.

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion outlining what they have achieved


Teaching will be held seven times a year for three academic years. Each session runs for three consecutive days, on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, in the months of October, November, February, March, May, June, and September. Sessions will usually be held during the last week of these months. Practical sessions run from 9 am to 5 pm. Two to three lectures or seminars are given each three-day gathering.


The classes are held in the beautiful premises of The Trinity Centre, Church Road, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 9HF.

How to apply

Applications for October 2019 will be open from October 2018 when application forms will be available to download on the website.

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The fee for the 2019-2021 programme has not yet been fixed, but will probably be in the region of £1,800 per year. This fee covers tuition, lunch, Monday and Tuesday evening meals, and refreshments. 
Accommodation is the responsibility of the student, but a list of bed and breakfasts will be provided (average price about £35 per person per night). 
Students are expected to provide their own materials, at an estimated cost of up to £400 per year.


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