Author Topic: Oriental Orthodox iconography  (Read 4996 times)

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Offline deusveritasest

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Oriental Orthodox iconography
« on: August 27, 2010, 12:03:13 AM »
I have seen lots of Coptic and Ethiopian iconography so far, to the point where I have a sense of both of them having an overall style to them.

As to the Syrians, Indians, and Armenians however, I have not seen much iconography.

Could someone show some instances of their iconography?

I suppose that this could also just be a general thread about OO iconography as well.
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Offline Salpy

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Offline Salpy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2010, 12:17:40 AM »
Then there is this series on khatchkars (cross stones) and Armenian iconography, done by the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=65D69B3B50417250

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2010, 10:46:15 PM »
Is it true that the Asian OO are not as strongly iconodulic as the African OO and the Byzantines? This is the impression I have gotten and have hinted at it in the past without really getting an answer.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2010, 01:07:50 AM »
The Armenians and Syrians don't use images as much as the Copts and Ethiopians, if that is what you mean.  We do use them, though.  In fact, I think the oldest polemic in defense of images was written by an Armenian in the early 600's.  It's just that we don't use them as much.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2010, 11:16:29 AM by Salpy »

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2010, 11:29:30 AM »
Is it true that the Asian OO are not as strongly iconodulic as the African OO and the Byzantines? This is the impression I have gotten and have hinted at it in the past without really getting an answer.

I think you are right. I've seen Armenian icons but not any from the Syriac and Indian Churches. Also should note, though it is not OO, but the Assyrian Church of the East does not use icons either. Perhaps its a cultural thing?

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2010, 11:40:23 AM »
Is it true that the Asian OO are not as strongly iconodulic as the African OO and the Byzantines? This is the impression I have gotten and have hinted at it in the past without really getting an answer.

I think you are right. I've seen Armenian icons but not any from the Syriac and Indian Churches. Also should note, though it is not OO, but the Assyrian Church of the East does not use icons either. Perhaps its a cultural thing?
Or finances.

The ACE doesn't have the theology for icons, while the Syriac OO do.  The Syriac Church has plenty of icons in Syria, the Indian OO in America (I've never been to India).
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Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2010, 07:53:15 PM »
"Be oppressed, rather than the oppressor. Be gentle, rather than zealous. Lay hold of goodness, rather than justice." -St. Isaac of Nineveh

“I returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church with affection, finding in her our tormented and broken history“. -Salama Moussa

Offline surajiype

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 07:27:51 AM »
The Syriacs did have a tradition of iconography especially using them to illustrate manuscipts , for us as Gospel covers and so on.

Presently they also use a lot of religious art which is western influenced.  Same in the case in India.  As it is reverencing an Icon as in Byzantine practice is not usually done in the syrian tradition. 

Prof Herman Teule has argued that the East Syriacs had a tradition of venerating icons in his paper 'The Veneration of Images in the West Syriac Tradition'.  I have not read the papers hence cannot comment on how convincing it is. 

Offline Salpy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 12:53:34 AM »
I guess this is modern day Armenian iconography, based on the ancient illuminated manuscripts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BakeOCHBsc&feature=related

Offline Aidan

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 08:00:42 AM »
Can anyone tell me why the Copts (in particular,I don't know much about the other OO churches) went in for the contemporary icon style? The name Isaac Fanous comes to mind.

Personally I don't care for the style, it looks cartoonish and sentimental. Yet it wasn't always so. I have an icon of Sts Antony and Paul done in an old fashioned way.

So would anyone care to enlighten/disabuse me?

Thanks

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 08:22:09 AM »
It looks like the Copts were facing 2 problems: 1, some of them went through a period of iconoclasm with Pope Cyril IV and afterwards. 2. Like in the Orthodox Church, Coptic art went through a long period of Latinization... in fact, there are still new churches being decorated in this style.

What Isaac Fanous and others of like mind wanted to do was restore a more traditional, native iconographic tradition. Isaac Fanous, however, studied under the Orthodox Byzantine iconographer Leonid Ouspensky. I guess he was trying to combine native Coptic style with the Byzantine style he was learning. That the result looks kind of like a Disney version of Byzantine icons, I don't think was quite his intention. But there you go.

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 09:33:48 AM »
Can anyone tell me why the Copts (in particular,I don't know much about the other OO churches) went in for the contemporary icon style? The name Isaac Fanous comes to mind.

Personally I don't care for the style, it looks cartoonish and sentimental. Yet it wasn't always so. I have an icon of Sts Antony and Paul done in an old fashioned way.

So would anyone care to enlighten/disabuse me?

Thanks

Can you post some photo examples of the two styles?

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 09:42:05 AM »
Here are some examples of the "neo-Coptic" iconography a la Isaac Fanous:

 





I don't know what Aidan's icon looks like, but many Coptic churches are still decorated like this:

« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 09:43:20 AM by Iconodule »

Offline Aidan

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 01:51:38 PM »
That picture of the Theotokos looks RC ! Some Orthodox say that to portray her without Christ is heretical.

I hope I've managed to post some Coptic icons that don't look Disneyesque.

Offline Aidan

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2010, 01:53:47 PM »
What about the oldest icon (alledgedly) from Egypt!

Offline Salpy

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2010, 11:59:20 PM »
Maybe there is something wrong with me (OK, nobody answer that  :) ) but I like the neo-Coptic style of icons.  The faces are open and beautiful.

As far as the Latin-style icons go, that seeped into the Armenian Church also, I think starting in the 1700's.  As Iconodule indicated above, all Orthodox Churches, both EO and OO, came under that influence.  There is a movement, though, to bring back the old style, which is a good thing.   :)

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2010, 01:29:20 AM »
Here are some examples of the "neo-Coptic" iconography a la Isaac Fanous:

 





I don't know what Aidan's icon looks like, but many Coptic churches are still decorated like this:



I actually like both of these styles. Though obviously I like the Fanous style more (admittedly it's actually one of my favorite styles). The latter Latinesque style is much more moderate than some iconography I've seen in Coptic churches around here, which are so Latin that I think they were just taken from the Latins.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2010, 01:29:20 AM »
I guess this is modern day Armenian iconography, based on the ancient illuminated manuscripts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BakeOCHBsc&feature=related

Very interesting.

I wish I could see more of this type of stuff in Armenian churches.
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Offline coptickev

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2010, 03:18:56 PM »
Maybe there is something wrong with me (OK, nobody answer that  :) ) but I like the neo-Coptic style of icons.  The faces are open and beautiful.

As far as the Latin-style icons go, that seeped into the Armenian Church also, I think starting in the 1700's.  As Iconodule indicated above, all Orthodox Churches, both EO and OO, came under that influence.  There is a movement, though, to bring back the old style, which is a good thing.   :)

I personally like Dr. Fanous work as well. I have several copies at home. I admit, though, that it is hard to tell the apostles apart sometimes, which is rarely a problem in Byzantine icons.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2010, 04:47:59 PM »
I'm not so sure as to what Coptic iconography rules are, but just because they're portrayed in the churches doesn't mean it's acceptable.  If you have a video of the consecration of that particular Church, watch and see if HH Pope Shenouda consecrates that icon.  If he doesn't, then he believes it's not approved iconography in the Church.

From what I understand though, after the Zeitoun apparition, that particular Latin icon of the Theotokos became very popular with Copts, because it reminds them of the way the Theotokos appeared.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 04:49:32 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM »
I was planning on posting a picture of an older Coptic icon, as there was a stream of traditional ones. Then I forgot. Then I remembered at the mention of the Apostles not being easily discerned:



As you can tell, this is very much not the case in this icon. For another matter, it's also a very different style both from the Latinized style and the style of Dr. Fanous.
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Offline coptickev

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2010, 11:26:19 PM »
I'm not so sure as to what Coptic iconography rules are, but just because they're portrayed in the churches doesn't mean it's acceptable.  If you have a video of the consecration of that particular Church, watch and see if HH Pope Shenouda consecrates that icon.  If he doesn't, then he believes it's not approved iconography in the Church.

From what I understand though, after the Zeitoun apparition, that particular Latin icon of the Theotokos became very popular with Copts, because it reminds them of the way the Theotokos appeared.
As far as I know he consecrated all the Icons of Dr. Fanous in our Church. I know he has issues with Icons depicting the Forerunner with wings, a very common theme in Greek Iconography.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Oriental Orthodox iconography
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2010, 03:27:36 AM »


Dear Coptickev,

I was referring to this icon.  I don't think this is Isaac Fanous' icon because it doesn't represent his style.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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