On 23 December at the Gstaad Palace Hotel, from 8.00 a.m. to 10 p.m., an exhibition of Russian icons dating from the 16th to 19th centuries, loaned by a collector in Bern, Switzerland, can be viewed in an exceptional event. The pieces are part of the largest collection of icons in Switzerland, and they are on show to the public for the very first time.
Icons originated from the Byzantine Empire in the 6th and 7th centuries, and since then they have been central in the Russian Orthodox faith. They act as a window to the sky, permitting believers to engage with Christ, Mary and the saints. The traditional icon-painting technique is based on natural pigments such as lapislazzuli, ochre, vermilion and egg yolk, with a natural diluent that was often beer. Gold leaf is then applied to parts of the painting, creating a background that symbolizes the skies or the heavens.
From 24 December 2012 to mid January 2013, the show will be moved to the vaults of the Sense of Delight boutique in Saanen.
Sense of Delight is the main sponsor of the event. Additional sponsors are Imperial Collection Vodka, Louis Roederer Champagne, and OONA Swiss Mountain Caviar.