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« Reply #585 on: July 15, 2014, 01:36:31 AM »

In the icon of the theophany at my church, the Father is "depicted" as a voice. Is this uncommon?

What does "the voice" look like when painted as an image?
"This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Are you saying that those words are painted onto the icon? 
Yes, in Greek, in a small orb above the Holy Spirit descending as a dove.
It might also be worth noting that the mandorla surrounding the Holy Spirit is connected via a narrow strip of light to the orb surrounding the Father's voice, showing the Spirit proceeding from the Father.
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« Reply #586 on: July 15, 2014, 01:44:50 AM »

Quote
does this mean that the Father could be depicted as a voice or as a wind if there was an iconographic convention for painting these things?  Why or why not?  

Voice and wind have no form or substance. The absence of any real attempt to portray wind and voice in icons is also telling. It also bears repeating that there is a difference between a divine manifestation, and the fullness of divine revelation. The Father and the Holy Spirit have only fleetingly and sporadically revealed themselves in symbolic manifestations of one sort or another, and not in the fullness of their nature. The Father is not a wind or voice, the Spirit is not a white bird by nature. Christ, OTOH, became incarnate, taking human flesh and making it his own, and even allowed three of His disciples to glimpse a small taste of the fullness of His divinity at the Transfiguration.

Quote
Leaving aside the fact that it is not clear from the Gospels whether the Spirit manifested in the form of a dove or merely descended like a dove, what does this principle mean for other iconographic conventions that are not strictly limited to "particular time and place" (e.g., depictions of the child Jesus as a miniature thirty year old in the arms of his Mother or appearing as if entombed in the Nativity icon)?  

The "maturity" of the Child expresses His eternal existence and His omniscience. He is not a generic helpless babe, but fully and completely God as well as Man. His depiction as a babe in swaddling clothes in a stone crib again looks to His coming passion death and burial. Icons are static and narrative, all at the same time.
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« Reply #587 on: July 15, 2014, 02:17:47 AM »

Quote
does this mean that the Father could be depicted as a voice or as a wind if there was an iconographic convention for painting these things?  Why or why not?  

Voice and wind have no form or substance. The absence of any real attempt to portray wind and voice in icons is also telling.

OK, so there is no iconographic convention for depicting wind or speech. 

Quote
It also bears repeating that there is a difference between a divine manifestation, and the fullness of divine revelation. The Father and the Holy Spirit have only fleetingly and sporadically revealed themselves in symbolic manifestations of one sort or another, and not in the fullness of their nature. The Father is not a wind or voice, the Spirit is not a white bird by nature. Christ, OTOH, became incarnate, taking human flesh and making it his own, and even allowed three of His disciples to glimpse a small taste of the fullness of His divinity at the Transfiguration.

Has the fullness of Christ's divinity been revealed to men, or only "a small taste...at the Transfiguration"?  Because it seems you're making a point of how the fullness of the Father's and the Spirit's nature hasn't been revealed to us, and so we cannot depict them; and yet, we can depict Christ, whose humanity is revealed to us, but whose divinity is only "glimpsed".  How much "glimpsed divinity" is enough to justify a painting? 

And if Christ's divinity can be glimpsed, and we can paint icons of Christ incorporating this, is his divinity something different from that of the Father and of the Spirit, that they cannot be depicted? 

If the divinity is shared with the Father and the Spirit, what prevents them from being painted?     

When we paint the icon of Christ, what are we depicting? 

Quote
The "maturity" of the Child expresses His eternal existence and His omniscience. He is not a generic helpless babe, but fully and completely God as well as Man. His depiction as a babe in swaddling clothes in a stone crib again looks to His coming passion death and burial. Icons are static and narrative, all at the same time.

To an extent, I cannot respond to this without knowing the answers to the questions above, because on one hand you are arguing that "maturity" is an indication of a fullness of divinity which, on the other hand, we only have a "small taste" of.

But without disagreeing with what you wrote, it doesn't really address my question.  Why does "particular time and place" make all the difference when it comes to the depiction of the Spirit as a dove, but doesn't seem to matter at all when it comes to depicting an age appropriate child in the arms of his mother, nursing from her breast, etc.?  Why does it suddenly become acceptable to depict a miniature thirty year old doing these things?  Surely that is not appropriate to the "particular time and place" depicted. 

And if Matthew, Mark, and John only say the Spirit descended like a dove at Christ's baptism, and Luke is the only one to specify that the Spirit descended in bodily form as a dove, none of these necessitate the painting of a white bird.  And yet that's exactly what we get, and it is legitimate except when it's not.  On what basis? 
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« Reply #588 on: July 15, 2014, 01:53:13 PM »

i agree with lbk's comments on this one.
icons are not pictures, they are stories.

but i thought nephi's suggestion was very funny.
i am sure he was not serious!
i think he was making the point that there are reasons why certain things are not portrayed in iconography.
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« Reply #589 on: July 15, 2014, 04:45:01 PM »

Our priest said that the Father is not to be depicted in Eastern Orthodox canonical icons. The reason he gave is that He has not appeared to us. 

The only possible exception being the visitation to Abraham - and I often see them as angels. I'm not sure on that one.

Not wishing to argue. Is there a difference between Eastern Orthodox and perhaps Ethiopian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, etc.?
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« Reply #590 on: July 15, 2014, 06:48:34 PM »

Ikonography is a lost art form. We have to do the best with what we have. Today's Ikons are in reality ,copies of
Italian Renaissance paintings.

and that's the truth. and yes , even  in mother russia.
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« Reply #591 on: July 15, 2014, 07:12:42 PM »

Ikonography is a lost art form. We have to do the best with what we have. Today's Ikons are in reality ,copies of
Italian Renaissance paintings.

and that's the truth. and yes , even  in mother russia.

This is not true at all. Traditional iconography was almost lost by the beginning of the 20th century, but it has well and truly been revived. The naturalistic paintings are still around, and, in many cases, are being removed from churches and replaced with proper traditional and canonical iconography. As for "Mother Russia", good, traditional icons are being painted everywhere, not just since the fall of the Soviet system, but even before it.

Here's an example, the iconography of Mother Juliana of blessed memory, who painted a series of icons for the Trinity-St Sergius Lavra in the mid-20th century.

http://www.pravmir.ru/prepodobnyj-sergij-ikony-monaxini-iulianii-sokolovoj/

Scroll down to the fifth picture on the page, where a series of her work begins. These are no Italian Renaissance paintings, but icons of the highest level of skill, reverence and spiritual power.
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« Reply #592 on: July 15, 2014, 07:15:20 PM »

Ikonography is a lost art form. We have to do the best with what we have. Today's Ikons are in reality ,copies of
Italian Renaissance paintings.

and that's the truth. and yes , even  in mother russia.

This is not true at all. Traditional iconography was almost lost by the beginning of the 20th century, but it has well and truly been revived. The naturalistic paintings are still around, and, in many cases, are being removed from churches and replaced with proper traditional and canonical iconography. As for "Mother Russia", good, traditional icons are being painted everywhere, not just since the fall of the Soviet system, but even before it.

Here's an example, the iconography of Mother Juliana of blessed memory, who painted a series of icons for the Trinity-St Sergius Lavra in the mid-20th century.

http://www.pravmir.ru/prepodobnyj-sergij-ikony-monaxini-iulianii-sokolovoj/

Scroll down to the fifth picture on the page, where a series of her work begins. These are no Italian Renaissance paintings, but icons of the highest level of skill, reverence and spiritual power.

Wow - I really, really like those.
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« Reply #593 on: July 15, 2014, 07:15:41 PM »

Our priest said that the Father is not to be depicted in Eastern Orthodox canonical icons. The reason he gave is that He has not appeared to us. 

The only possible exception being the visitation to Abraham - and I often see them as angels. I'm not sure on that one.


The Hospitality of Abraham, and the variant which does not include Abraham and Sarah, are indeed canonical. It should be remembered that, like the other manifestations of the Father and the Holy Spirit, that is what these angels represent. They are manifestations, not incarnations.

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« Reply #594 on: July 15, 2014, 07:23:14 PM »

the rules for ikonography  haven't  been followed by anyone since the   crusaders  razed the Holy City. believe what you will.

I'm not  referring to what they look like to you but how they conform to the very exacting rules for this type of art form.
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« Reply #595 on: July 15, 2014, 07:31:59 PM »

Ikonography is a lost art form. We have to do the best with what we have. Today's Ikons are in reality ,copies of
Italian Renaissance paintings.

and that's the truth. and yes , even  in mother russia.

This is not true at all. Traditional iconography was almost lost by the beginning of the 20th century, but it has well and truly been revived. The naturalistic paintings are still around, and, in many cases, are being removed from churches and replaced with proper traditional and canonical iconography. As for "Mother Russia", good, traditional icons are being painted everywhere, not just since the fall of the Soviet system, but even before it.

Here's an example, the iconography of Mother Juliana of blessed memory, who painted a series of icons for the Trinity-St Sergius Lavra in the mid-20th century.

http://www.pravmir.ru/prepodobnyj-sergij-ikony-monaxini-iulianii-sokolovoj/

Scroll down to the fifth picture on the page, where a series of her work begins. These are no Italian Renaissance paintings, but icons of the highest level of skill, reverence and spiritual power.

Wow - I really, really like those.

Another master (mistress?) iconographer of our times was Xenia Pokrovsky, who began painting icons in Russia in the 1960s, and emigrated to the US in 1991, where she painted countless icons, and taught many, until her death last year. Just as important as her mastery of the skill of painting, her sense of the spiritual was where it should be - the opposite of the new-agey mess that the Prosopon "school" espouses.

May her memory and her legacy be eternal.
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« Reply #596 on: July 15, 2014, 07:41:09 PM »

the rules for ikonography  haven't  been followed by anyone since the   crusaders  razed the Holy City. believe what you will.

I'm not  referring to what they look like to you but how they conform to the very exacting rules for this type of art form.

Could you elaborate on what exactly these rules are? I must admit, I fail to see how modern iconography can in any way be compared to renaissance paintings.
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« Reply #597 on: July 15, 2014, 07:43:01 PM »

Our priest said that the Father is not to be depicted in Eastern Orthodox canonical icons. The reason he gave is that He has not appeared to us. 

The only possible exception being the visitation to Abraham - and I often see them as angels. I'm not sure on that one.

Not wishing to argue. Is there a difference between Eastern Orthodox and perhaps Ethiopian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, etc.?

There are differences, certainly, though my personal assessment is that they are not substantial.  In any case, I don't think this particular topic is one of them, at least not yet. 
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« Reply #598 on: July 15, 2014, 07:45:13 PM »

"Here's an example, the iconography of Mother Juliana of blessed memory, who painted a series of icons for the Trinity-St Sergius Lavra in the mid-20th century. "

unfortunately the ikons depicted do not adhere to the traditional ikonography which is very strict ,I admit, and for this reason do not exist .

true ikons do not depict the human form  showing movement.
They must be flat two dimensional only and abstract .

Ikons depicting Christ must be in portrait form or seated. and so on..
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« Reply #599 on: July 15, 2014, 07:55:05 PM »

"Here's an example, the iconography of Mother Juliana of blessed memory, who painted a series of icons for the Trinity-St Sergius Lavra in the mid-20th century. "

unfortunately the ikons depicted do not adhere to the traditional ikonography which is very strict ,I admit, and for this reason do not exist .

true ikons do not depict the human form  showing movement.
They must be flat two dimensional only and abstract .

Ikons depicting Christ must be in portrait form or seated. and so on..

Show us an example, please.
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« Reply #600 on: July 15, 2014, 07:59:03 PM »

the rules for ikonography  haven't  been followed by anyone since the   crusaders  razed the Holy City. believe what you will.

I'm not  referring to what they look like to you but how they conform to the very exacting rules for this type of art form.

Please tell us how these icons, all produced well after the Crusader period, do not "conform to the very exacting rules for this type of art form", Christodoulostheou:









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« Reply #601 on: July 15, 2014, 08:11:37 PM »

winged horses : throwback to pre christian times.

 Depicting hands of saints or holy persons  ;verbotten
Exceptions : Christ and/ or  Blessed mother. 

Color red ,normally not used...

remember ,ikonography went through big changes after renaissance.   
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« Reply #602 on: July 15, 2014, 08:13:24 PM »

Quote
true ikons do not depict the human form  showing movement.
They must be flat two dimensional only and abstract .



Quote
Ikons depicting Christ must be in portrait form or seated. and so on..



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« Reply #603 on: July 15, 2014, 08:16:29 PM »

winged horses : throwback to pre christian times.

 Depicting hands of saints or holy persons  ;verbotten
Exceptions : Christ and/ or  Blessed mother.  

Color red ,normally not used...

remember ,ikonography went through big changes after renaissance.  

Winged horses: How was Prophet Elijah/Elias taken up to heaven?

Red: Nonsense. What are the colors of the outer garment of the Mother of God, and the inner garment of Christ? What color are the tongues of fire descending on the Apostles at Pentecost?

As for uncovered hands, how can saints of priest or bishop rank bless with a covered hand? And countless saints, and the Mother of God at the Annunciation, show a hand, palm outward, held close to their body, to depicty their humility, renunciation of worldly passions, and submission to God.

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« Reply #604 on: July 15, 2014, 08:18:05 PM »

Never heard that 'rule' about not depicting hands. I've seen hands in every icon in my church.
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« Reply #605 on: July 15, 2014, 08:18:37 PM »

I'm not saying they can't be used or shouldn't be .

The beheading of the Baptist is far from being anywhere  near authentic.

Christ in Hades has enough abstract to make it closer to the real thing ;but here as well the colors are way wrong..
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« Reply #606 on: July 15, 2014, 08:19:47 PM »

the rules for ikonography  haven't  been followed by anyone since the   crusaders  razed the Holy City. believe what you will.

I'm not  referring to what they look like to you but how they conform to the very exacting rules for this type of art form.

You must never have heard of Paleologos, Macedonia, Feofen Grek, &c. &c. &c.
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« Reply #607 on: July 15, 2014, 08:20:03 PM »

I'm not saying they can't be used or shouldn't be .

The beheading of the Baptist is far from being anywhere  near authentic.

Christ in Hades has enough abstract to make it closer to the real thing ;but here as well the colors are way wrong..

Do you paint icons? Do you teach on iconography? I would like to know where you have got your "rules" from.
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« Reply #608 on: July 15, 2014, 08:21:09 PM »



The beheading of the Baptist is far from being anywhere  near authentic.



Oh, boy. Here we go.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #609 on: July 15, 2014, 08:28:23 PM »

Sixth century. I see hands.

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« Reply #610 on: July 15, 2014, 08:30:57 PM »

Byzantine Icons, Frescoes and Mosaics
(Orthodox Byzantine Icons)
Click link to read what it takes for an icon to be a byzantine icon
Introduction: The Essential Feature of Icons



Contents
1. Image of the invisible, presence of the Invisible
2. The first images
3. The Holy Virgin Mary proclaimed Mother of God
4. Iconography and Iconoclasm in Byzantium
5. The triumph of Orthodoxy
6. Conclusion
7. Bibliography









--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



We have known icons since at least the 5th or 6th century. Even so, they seemed to have disappeared in the first half of the 20th century. They did not disappear, however, but they were suppressed. In the Soviet era in Russia, for example, icon painting was forbidden. Nonetheless, several icon painters painted or restored icons in secret. Then icons made a comeback. So one may raise the question 'what is it that makes icons so special' ? What is it that makes people, monks and others, even risk their lives by continuing to paint icons?


Image of the invisible, presence of the Invisible
The icon is an efficient means for knowing God, the Holy Virgin and the Saints. It's not a work of art that only illustrates the Holy Scriptures. It constitutes a confession of religious truths. Says St. Paul "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God" (Col. 1, 15).

Father Daniel Rousseau writes "Christian iconography, and foremost the possibility to represent Christ, is based on the fact of the Incarnation (a). Just like the theologian expresses the living Truth in words by means of his thought process, the iconographer expresses the living Truth, the Revelation of the Tradition of the Church by means of his art (b). Consequently, the sacred art of icons cannot be some arbitrary creation of artists. Better than any other sacred image, the icon of Christ " not made by the hand of man " expresses the dogmatic principle of iconography. (This refers to the miraculous icon of the Holy Face of the XIIth century, also known as Acheiropoietos, shown to the left at the start of this page). That's why the 7th Synod (787) gives it very special attention. And to commemorate the definitive triumph of the holy images, this icon of Christ is venerated the day of "Orthodoxy". (Daniel Rousseau, L'Icône, Splendeur de Ton Visage, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris, 1982, pp. 232-233.)
(a) Cf. Dogma of Chalcedon.
(b) Note: The above text is a translation from the French text by Fr. Rousseau. One might add that illumination by the Holy Spirit is a required key element for both the theologian and the iconographer to be able to express the living Truth.

Here is possibly another way of saying "something similar, but not identical":
« Christian (Orthodox) iconography expresses in images the same Gospel message that Scripture communicates by words. Image and word illuminate each other. »  (Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery" paragraph 1160. Here is the link to paragraphs 1154-1162.)

Only "something similar, but not identical" because one might interprete the above phrase as saying « Christian (Orthodox) iconography expresses [to the unlettered] in images the same Gospel message that Scripture communicates [to the literate] by words. Image and word illuminate each other. » This interpretation might lead to the conclusion that Iconography and Scripture are identical. But they are not. Scripture cannot substitute Iconography. And Iconography cannot substitute Scripture.

« In truth there is nothing in Western Christian experience quite the same as the Eastern Orthodox Icon. It is as fundamental and essential to our theology and dogma as scripture. St. Theodore the Studite wrote: "Just as everyone, no matter how perfect, is in need of the Gospel tablet, so (does one need) the painting expressed according to it" (c).»
(The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Canada "To the Glory of God: the Icon", 1998, http://www.istocnik.com/articles/40/eng_glory.html.)
(c) Note: St. Theodore the Studite also wrote: "If contemplation with the intellect had been sufficient, it would have sufficed for the Word to come among us intellectually only" .»


The first images
It took a long time before we saw the icon appear the way we know it today through its ancient representations. Its development was influenced by complex historical contexts and many cultural dependencies. It was also influenced by the war of the holy images during which the fury of the iconoclasts destroyed innumerable highly venerated icons.


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« Reply #611 on: July 15, 2014, 08:35:47 PM »

Sixth century. I see hands.



that's not sixth century . try again.
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« Reply #612 on: July 15, 2014, 08:38:49 PM »

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5ADysATyO2Q/ShgrQY4sCiI/AAAAAAAACU8/pVr_gfGe_bY/s1600-h/RabulaGospelsFolio14vPentecost.jpg

Sixth century.
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« Reply #613 on: July 15, 2014, 08:40:48 PM »

Sixth century. I see hands.



that's not sixth century . try again.
Yes it is, or you can argue with the monks of St Catherine's monastery about it.
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« Reply #614 on: July 15, 2014, 08:40:59 PM »


Yeah reds were excessively common pigments in ancient times. It's blues that were hard to come by.
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« Reply #615 on: July 15, 2014, 08:44:04 PM »

Sixth century. I see hands.



that's not sixth century . try again.

What motivates you to say that? This is a famous example. The style and technique (encaustic) are extremely characteristic of place and era (pre-iconoclastic era).
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« Reply #616 on: July 15, 2014, 08:45:06 PM »

Sixth century. I see hands.



that's not sixth century . try again.
Yes it is, or you can argue with the monks of St Catherine's monastery about it.

Link please.. can you provide one that works.
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« Reply #617 on: July 15, 2014, 08:52:21 PM »

Sixth century. I see hands.



that's not sixth century . try again.
Yes it is, or you can argue with the monks of St Catherine's monastery about it.

Link please.. can you provide one that works.

This article talks about it.
http://monasteryicons.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/the-icons-of-the-monastery-of-st-catherine-of-sinai/
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« Reply #618 on: July 15, 2014, 08:52:41 PM »

Sixth century. I see hands.



that's not sixth century . try again.
Yes it is, or you can argue with the monks of St Catherine's monastery about it.

Link please.. can you provide one that works.
http://campus.belmont.edu/honors/SinaiIcons/SinaiIcons.html

This university source claims early 7th century, though there are also other examples of 6th century icons on that page with revealed hands and the color red.

Regardless, far too early to suffer from "renaissance influences."
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« Reply #619 on: July 15, 2014, 09:05:47 PM »

From the time of the First Crusade, the presence of Crusaders in the Sinai until 1270 spurred the interest of European Christians and increased the number of intrepid pilgrims who visited the monastery. The monastery was supported by its dependencies in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Crete, Cyprus and Constantinople.

The crusaders sacked St. Catherine's monastery. nothing survived.
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« Reply #620 on: July 15, 2014, 09:08:33 PM »

From the time of the First Crusade, the presence of Crusaders in the Sinai until 1270 spurred the interest of European Christians and increased the number of intrepid pilgrims who visited the monastery. The monastery was supported by its dependencies in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Crete, Cyprus and Constantinople.

The crusaders sacked St. Catherine's monastery. nothing survived.
I'm going to take the monks' words over your unsupported ones.
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« Reply #621 on: July 15, 2014, 09:14:11 PM »

It took a long time before we saw the icon appear the way we know it today through its ancient representations. Its development was influenced by complex historical contexts and many cultural dependencies. It was also influenced by the war of the holy images during which the fury of the iconoclasts destroyed innumerable highly venerated icons.

don't take my word for it.. read the history of greek orthodoxy.

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« Reply #622 on: July 15, 2014, 09:15:25 PM »

Okay, this isn't worth it.
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« Reply #623 on: July 15, 2014, 09:16:43 PM »

It took a long time before we saw the icon appear the way we know it today through its ancient representations. Its development was influenced by complex historical contexts and many cultural dependencies. It was also influenced by the war of the holy images during which the fury of the iconoclasts destroyed innumerable highly venerated icons.

don't take my word for it.. read the history of greek orthodoxy.



I'm pretty sure Antonis is a chanter in a Greek Orthodox parish. But do correct me if I'm wrong. Wink
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« Reply #624 on: July 15, 2014, 09:17:30 PM »

From the time of the First Crusade, the presence of Crusaders in the Sinai until 1270 spurred the interest of European Christians and increased the number of intrepid pilgrims who visited the monastery. The monastery was supported by its dependencies in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Crete, Cyprus and Constantinople.

The crusaders sacked St. Catherine's monastery. nothing survived.

The first part is from wikipedia. The last sentence, I assume, is your invention. The monastery has numerous icons and manuscripts from the first Millennium.
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« Reply #625 on: July 15, 2014, 09:18:24 PM »




Quote
true ikons do not depict the human form  showing movement.
They must be flat two dimensional only and abstract .



Quote
Ikons depicting Christ must be in portrait form or seated. and so on..





see the construction of the  tower ?

And the uniform of the soldier [executioner]?

that's from the 13th century.
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« Reply #626 on: July 15, 2014, 09:19:56 PM »

Christo, can you prove it?
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« Reply #627 on: July 15, 2014, 09:20:31 PM »

It took a long time before we saw the icon appear the way we know it today through its ancient representations. Its development was influenced by complex historical contexts and many cultural dependencies. It was also influenced by the war of the holy images during which the fury of the iconoclasts destroyed innumerable highly venerated icons.

don't take my word for it.. read the history of greek orthodoxy.



I'm pretty sure Antonis is a chanter in a Greek Orthodox parish. But do correct me if I'm wrong. Wink
That I am. A novice, anyway.
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« Reply #628 on: July 15, 2014, 09:21:53 PM »

Thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #629 on: July 15, 2014, 09:22:40 PM »

so, the crusaders didn't loot orthodox monasteries. ?

 few ikons survived, and those few which did were post the ikonoclasts.
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