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Poll
Question: What's your favorite style of Icon?
Byzantine - 20 (62.5%)
Russian - 4 (12.5%)
Coptic - 4 (12.5%)
All of them - 0 (0%)
Other - 4 (12.5%)
Total Voters: 32

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Author Topic: What's your favorite style of Icon?  (Read 2199 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: July 03, 2007, 01:46:21 AM »

 Hi all,

 After searching the web for an Icon of ArchAngel Gabriel (my patron saint), I was treated to what seemed like a vast collection of different styles/types of Icon writing. Although I like them all, I seem to be drawn to the modern (Western influenced, though not Baroque) Byzantine and also the Coptic styles. The former because (to my way of thinking), Christ, the Theotokos, ArchAngels and the Saints all seem more human, probably because they're written with more depth, shading, and, well, more vividly human looking. The latter (Coptic) because they make me feel connected to the early Christians.

 I realize that there are probably more styles than I listed in the poll, but, as I'm fairly new to Orthodoxy and by no means an Icon scholar, I thought it safe to just list 'other'. I also realize that there is a whole theology behind writing Icons, which I've considered taking up.

 In addition to simply answering the poll, I hope you'll share some insight into your favorite style as well as any information you may have on the theology of Iconography.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2007, 02:28:25 AM by Jibrail Almuhajir » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 11:51:08 AM »

I love all of them, just somewhat more used to Russian (esp. Southern "Russian," which is, actually, Ukrainian), and also Bulgarian and Georgian. My favorite icons always have warm colors - red, orange, yellow.
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 12:46:07 PM »

Mos def Byzantine, the only ones I have.
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007, 01:31:50 PM »

http://www.paintedchurch.org/

The English forms of the Romanesque - which vary. I particularly love the Winchester school, as seen in the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin, in Copford, Essex. See especially the icon over the altar: http://www.mondes-normands.caen.fr/angleterre/Patrimoine_architectural/Angleterre/Churches/copford/copf4.jpg
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2007, 08:43:40 AM »

I know Coptic icons have a distinctive look, and so do Romanian ones, but what are the main differences between Russian and Byzantine icons?
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2007, 12:03:36 PM »

I prefer Byzantine.

I've always liked the look of Far Eastern type icons too. Very hard to come by, though.

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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2007, 12:10:44 PM »

I prefer Ethiopian icons as they tend to be less complex in style whilst still reflecting much beauty.
Some of the earlier Coptic icons appear more like Ethiopian ones however more recent Coptic icons appear to have been influenced by the Greeks.
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2007, 05:20:26 PM »

I enjoy the mysticism of the older style Slavic Icons.  They are simple and meant to be viewed in semidarkness and illuminated by lampadas and candles. They are great for meditating.

As for beauty and being a "window to heaven" I prefer the Byzantine Icons. Their colors are more vibrant, their shadings and symbolism are open and speak directly to my soul. I being from Texas, I have found that  they are most appropriate for sun filled churches like those of Texas, Greece, and the Middle east. The use of Blues and Gold refracture light in such a way that one truely feels that they have entered with the saints into heaven.

Thomas
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2007, 11:16:11 PM »

I enjoy the mysticism of the older style Slavic Icons.  They are simple and meant to be viewed in semidarkness and illuminated by lampadas and candles. They are great for meditating.
I wonder if this has something to do with how far north much of Russia is and how little sunlight they get for half the year.
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2007, 12:40:39 AM »

I like the Old Believer icons.  Some of them seem to be a cross of Slavic and Byzantine icons which is neat.
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2007, 12:41:24 AM »

Sorry double-post.
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2007, 12:55:40 AM »

Having only been Orthodox for a short time I can't bring a breadth of knowledge here but I can reflect on what I've seen so far. I initially took a liking to the Ukrainian style of Icon due to it's similarity to western art. However, as I have grown in the faith, the more stylized forms of Iconography are more appealing to me. Byzantine and other traditional styles that reflect a more mystical spirituality are coming to the fore in my mind. I do not know much about Coptic Icons at this point however I am the inquisitive sort and God willing I will learn more.
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2007, 01:03:19 AM »

Hmmm...how about we show a few icons of the same depiction (like the icon of the Theotokos) with the different styles to compare and contrast?
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2007, 01:16:09 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Aquaticus.  I hope you enjoy your visits here. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2007, 01:41:45 PM »

I enjoy the mysticism of the older style Slavic Icons.  They are simple and meant to be viewed in semidarkness and illuminated by lampadas and candles. They are great for meditating.
I don't know that I've seen an older style Slavic Icon, but you're thoughts here are something I can identify with. Viewing icons in semidarkness being illuminated by lampadas and candles really helps to calm me and bring me into the presence of the Living God.

I prefer Ethiopian icons as they tend to be less complex in style whilst still reflecting much beauty.
Some of the earlier Coptic icons appear more like Ethiopian ones however more recent Coptic icons appear to have been influenced by the Greeks.
I've seen a few Ethiopian icons and really like them. I think because they are less complex they tend to bring me into a more focused awareness of the continuing relationship between today's Christians and the Early Christians. The charges that have been leveled at them by some critics, such as their being cartoonish or not accurately portraying deeper mysteries, are completely nonsense. This is simply another example of Western rationalism that has crept into authentic Christianity.
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« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2007, 12:24:30 PM »

Here's a link to a nice collection of typically Ukrainian icons:

http://www.ugcc.org.ua/Gallery/MainHall.html
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2007, 11:18:55 PM »

Here's a link to a nice collection of typically Ukrainian icons:

http://www.ugcc.org.ua/Gallery/MainHall.html

 Very nice, Heorhij! Thanks for the link  Cheesy.
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2007, 07:21:51 PM »


 If anyone else knows about other online icon collections, please post them. I'm really interested in the Ethiopian and Coptic collections, but want to pursue my knowledge about all of the different styles. Thanks in advance,

 Gabriel
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