So having a few icons rather than hundreds is iconoclastic??
No, that's not what I meant. My Russian Orthodox parish is pretty bare. I think chiefly we just don't have a lot of money. I thought maybe that's why some Western Rite parishes are bare as well (that seems to be what Alpo is saying); also, maybe there's a lack of iconographers with a knowledge of and experience executing "Western style" church art.
I'm honestly just trying to find out what Western Rite folks have as their aesthetic ideals.
I sometimes get the impression, though, that the aesthetic is: take an Anglican church and put two Eastern icons of Christ and the Theotokos above the altar and presto. Personally, that doesn't seem very Western or
Orthodox to me. I'm a big fan of Western religious art, and I've always found it interesting that pre-Schism and relatively-soon-after-Schism Western icons and religious paintings look a helluvalot like Byzantine icons, but still with particular Western styles (just like there a lots of regional styles of Byzantine art).
It seems to me trying to recover a maximalist Western aesthetic would be more Orthodox and more beautiful than settling for a sort of "corrected" post-Schism aesthetic which seems 'scarred' by Reformation-era iconoclasm.
I'm not trying to say East=Orthodox-West=heterodox/iconoclast. I'm trying to say something like maximalism/art/color/exuberance=Orthodox. I don't buy the Eastern-is-exuberant-Western-is-somber thing any more than I buy the East-focuses-on-the-Resurrection-West-focuses-on-the-Cross thing. The stone carvings and statues on a lot of Gothic cathedrals used to be painted. Basically the way I see it, the Protestant Reformers tried to take all the fun out of Christianity and make ii four bare walls and a slab (or maybe not even a slab but just a podium), and Orthodox, whether Western or Eastern, should reject that ethos and bring on the smells and bells.
None of these examples are Orthodox, but they are pretty:http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2009/04/architectural-features-rood-screen.html
The first church has more painting, the second, less. What do people think about these examples?
More of St. Birinus church: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2008/09/rood-screen-at-st-birinus.htmlhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/3389846756/
Some cool panel art from the 1400s (okay, I know that's way after the schism):http://www.flickr.com/photos/norfolkodyssey/244513453/in/photostream/
This English church has a Pantokrator above the altar:http://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/3067290397/