Elena Vladimir Baranoff
Fine Art 

Through my art I wish to connect with people on a deep emotional level and awaken beauty and poetry in their souls, for I believe it is the purpose of an artist to serve the everlasting values – goodness, graciousness and love. 

Elena Vladimir Baranoff

Fine Art Restoration

Icons Paintings & Lacquer  Miniatures

Selected Images of the Restoration Process


Elena in the process of restoring the antique Palekh icon Holy Virgin Mother of God - Joy of All Who Sorrow 

The challenge during the restoration process is not to damage or interfere with any portion of the historic original painting. The icon has to be extremely carefully cleaned of the old and dirty varnish and only the missing painted portions of the artwork need to be delicately restored by the skillful hands of the master in the manner and style of the original. When all damaged sections of the painting are restored the icon becomes a harmonious vision of its original image.

Elena Vladimir Baranoff began her experience in art restoration during the beginning of the 1990's. As the only Palekh artist in the USA at the time, Elena, with her extensive knowledge of intricate painting in egg tempera and 24ct. gold, using recipes passed down from generations of Palekh icon painters, a skill not known to fine art restorers, was constantly approached by prominent Palekh fine art collectors, church leaders and art gallery owners in the USA to restore icons and lacquer miniatures from their collections.

Over the past 22 years Elena had undertaken extremely extensive and complicated restoration work of antique icons and lacquer miniatures damaged by heavy cracks sustained during earthquakes, burned by fire, bitten through by teeth of animals. 

Elena had the privilege to restore the antique works of such Palekh old masters and founders of the Palekh style of miniature painting as Golikov, Bazhenov, Vakurov, Dydykin, entrusted into her expert hands by the most devoted collectors. In addition Elena had restored many beautiful miniatures by today's artists for galleries and collectors.
Russian Lacquer Box Restoration

This Russian lacquer box, depicting a religious scene, was tragically damaged.The thin layers of lacquer together with the paint had completely separated from the surface of the entire box, including its sides.

Here the missing part of the painting is clearly visible, with the black lacquered box surface seen underneath. The large cracks travelled along the entire lid of the box, doing incredible damage to the artwork. Such detachment of lacquer from the surface is evidence of the fact that poor quality, incorrect type of lacquer had been used during the creation of this artwork.
Russian Icon Restoration

A fragment from the icon Holy Virgin Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow. The old varnish was incredibly burned and sections of the painting were completely missing.

A detail from the icon Holy Virgin Mother of God - Joy of All Who Sorrow before undergoing restoration work .

A detail of the icon of the Holy Virgin before restoration. The paint has been badly chipped away to the wood foundation and the surface terribly scratched and covered with dirty varnish.
Restoration of Fine Gold Painting Work 

Following an ancient recipe of Russian icon painters, passed down through the generations, specially prepared 24ct gold is used to restore the exquisite, fine gold work painted on the icons.

Restoration of the fine line gold work, in Russian called "Probel", on the robes of the Saint.

Another example of fine gold work being restored on the sacred hallow of a Saint.

An entire section of the lacquered painting had detached from the rest of the artwork and shattered into small pieces. This restoration was one of the most serious Elena had undertaken in her 22 years of experience.

The restoration is complete and a second chance at life granted to the lacquer box.Piece by piece the detached portions of the lacquered artwork was put back and restored together with the rest of the artwork. The old yellow varnish was removed  and the box freshly relacquered using the appropriate varnish for such a work of art.

The burned and damaged old varnish was removed. The bright colors of the painting came to light, and the missing sections of the icon were restored to harmoniously balance with the rest of the painting.

The same detail of the icon after all the dirt was cleaned, old varnish removed and cracks restored. The brilliant colors truly shine.

The restoration included the cleaning of the painted surface and removal of the old varnish. All damaged portions of the surface were restored and the icon revarnished.

A closeup showing minor missing elements of gold work on the drapery in the painted composition of the icon being restored by Elena's skillful hand using 24ct. gold.

Restoration of the fine gold work on the  sacred hallows of the Saints accomplished with the aid of a fine point of a handmade squirrel hair brush.

Once the gold work has been restored the gold is polished by a natural tooth of a Russian bear to give it noble luster.