About Gold Leaf
Gold leaf is genuine gold that has been hammered into thin sheets for use in gilding. It is available in a variety of karats and shades. When imitation gold is used, it is commonly referred to as 'metal leaf'. The gold leaf used in the artwork on this website is pure 24 karat.
Gold leaf has been used in art for hundreds of years. In Christian art, it is used to represent haloes around the saints; in Buddhist art it is used to decorate statues and symbols; Jewish and Islamic artists use it in Hebrew and Arabic calligraphy, just as the Christian scribes of the Middle Ages used it to illuminate religious texts.
Due to its rarity, its beauty, its radiance and its robustness, gold is one of the most valuable elements we have. It is thought that gold was produced by the collision of stars, which created dust that was present when the solar system formed. The earliest known gold mines existed over 3500 years ago and since then, the metal has been used by numerous cultures in temples, statues, religious artefacts, jewellery and medicine.
Gold is mentioned frequently in the Hebrew Bible, where it is highly revered. The outer layer of the Ark of the Covenant and many parts of the Temple, including the Menorah, were constructed from gold. The Sikh Golden Temple in India is covered in real gold, the Buddhist Wat Phra Kaew Temple in Thailand has a roof made with real gold leaf, and the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine built in 691 CE is covered with a layer of gold.
The New Testament describes the City of New Jerusalem as having streets "made of pure gold", and the Aztecs regarded gold as a product of the gods, naming it, literally, "excrement of the gods".
Today, great human achievements are rewarded with trophies and medals made with genuine gold, from sporting events such as the Olympics, the World Cup and Wimbledon, to Nobel Prize medals and Academy Awards statuettes. Wedding rings are traditionally made from gold, as are religious symbols when used in jewellery or as decoration.
It is thought that all the gold ever mined could fit into a cube with sides of only 20 meters. This rarity contributes to its value and adds to its mystique. Furthermore, gold is one of our most durable elements. Unlike other metals, it is resistant to corrosion and is unaffected by acids. Items made from genuine gold may last for hundreds or even thousands of years, and will retain their brilliance, their beauty and their value.
Persian Fallow Deer at Dawn
Ink and gold leaf on wooden panel
12 x 12 x 1.5 inches