“A bright cloud ran in the face of Toporkov, a sort of lights, with which the saints are written.”
“Late-blooming Flowers” by Anton Chekhov
It is an irony. Toporkov’s sort of light is compared to iconographer’s shining. The saints in icons are written (in literal translation from Greek Orthodox Church), not painted, by iconographers. Michel Quenot in the book “Icon” writes that the saints in icons radiate because they are released from desire. But the face of Toporkov brightened up at the sight of money.
According to Michel Quenot, brightness is the first attribute of God.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation (…)” (The Book of Psalms 27,1)
“The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee everlasting light, and thy God thy Glory.”
“The sun shall no more go down, neither shall the moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall bethine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.” (The Book of Isaiah 60, 19-20)
Iconographers and saints in icons participate in the energies of God. This participation leads to becoming fulgent. The soul transfigures into brightness. Intensive clarity brings relief and make the world transparent. Light is present in purified beings. Toporkov’s mind does not belong to them.