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Author Topic: Vestments of the Infant Christ in Icons  (Read 3907 times) Average Rating: 0
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AZCatholic
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« on: July 03, 2012, 02:17:00 PM »

Why does the Infant Christ wear a white robe and a orange cloak? Why isn't he wearing the usual red and green? Is there some meaning for this?


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LBK
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 09:28:37 PM »

The colors of Christ's clothing in these icons is white (for purity and holiness), and gold (a multitude of meanings, including the Uncreated Light of divinity), not yellow.
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yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 12:19:57 AM »

I'd love to see an icon that puts heavier emphasis on his human nature as well.  If anybody has an example, please either post or PM me.

Many of them show the divinity..., but I haven't seen any Huggies or Luvs in icons yet  Tongue.  There are some of him in the manger, which I suppose gets pretty close.

I mean babies have chubby fingers and cheeks and stuff.  LOL  My children all had pretty good pot bellies and dents in their knuckles.  

All I can say though is if he was *really* wearing those more or less expensive looking garments, they would be LOADED with spit-up.   After raising 5 infants, that's what they do after eating.

On a serious note - wow, can you imagine the Theotokos changing his cloths, feeding him, bathing him, all the while knowing that he was God made flesh?  Even putting him over her shoulder to burp and tickling him knowing who he was the entire time...  OR even Joseph playing with him, or showing him tools and stuff knowing who he was...  Amazing stuff to think about.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 12:20:51 AM by yeshuaisiam » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 02:27:44 AM »

All icons of Christ emphasize His humanity - that God took on flesh and became a human being. If God did not become incarnate, it would not be possible to portray Him in icons.

Examples of particular emphasis on Christ's humanity include the scene within icons of the Nativity which show the midwives bathing the newborn Child, to show that He was truly born of a woman as any other human being is, and did not materialize into the world as some kind of spirit; and the following icon of the Mother of God:

Pelagonitissa:



A very similar one is known as Vzigranie (Leaping for joy).

Then there's this one, called Yaroslavskaya, which is of the Glykofyloussa (Sweet-kissing) type, which is truly exquisite in showing the love and intimacy between Mother and Child (a very similar one is the Yakhromskaya):



Another type, which proclaims the full humanity of Christ, is the Milk-giver (Galaktotrophoussa, Mlekopitatel'nitsa), which shows the Virgin breastfeeding her Child.



This icon reflects the standard Gospel reading for feasts of the Mother of God, which includes Luke 11:27:

As He said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him: “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts at which You nursed!”

« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 02:28:46 AM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 07:57:53 PM »

Excellent post LBK.

By "emphasize his humanity" I meant that it would be cool to see him "doing baby stuff". 

The first icon is actually funny in ways... Considering he was probably a wiggler.  LOL

That middle icon is absolutely stunning... Gorgeous.   I need to get this one for my home (or a copy/print of it).  Look how his hand embraces the face of the theotokos.  Babies do that....  Awesome.
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 11:18:50 PM »

Quote
By "emphasize his humanity" I meant that it would be cool to see him "doing baby stuff".

At risk of sounding prudish, icons aren't about being "cool", just as church hymns aren't about being "hip". Christ was indeed born as a baby like us all, but He still remains, always, God. That dignity should always be visible. That is what tempers overly cutesy iconographic portrayals of the Child, something that western religious art quickly lost after the turn of the fourteenth century.
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 08:10:04 PM »

Quote
By "emphasize his humanity" I meant that it would be cool to see him "doing baby stuff".

At risk of sounding prudish, icons aren't about being "cool", just as church hymns aren't about being "hip". Christ was indeed born as a baby like us all, but He still remains, always, God. That dignity should always be visible. That is what tempers overly cutesy iconographic portrayals of the Child, something that western religious art quickly lost after the turn of the fourteenth century.

Smiley

"Cool" has several ways of thought, in this way I meant interesting and nice, not popular and slick.   Of course the dignity reigns, and he was God and man.  I agree, we shouldn't have cutesy type of icons of our God.  But the gentle hand on the cheek of the Theotokos, that's a powerful representation of the beauty of the love of the Theotokos to our savior, and the love and dependence of the "human" nature of God.

It's incredibly powerful that God became man, and was a baby, and needed his mother as any child needs their mother.   All the icons are beautiful.
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 12:04:28 AM »

Quote
By "emphasize his humanity" I meant that it would be cool to see him "doing baby stuff".

At risk of sounding prudish, icons aren't about being "cool", just as church hymns aren't about being "hip". Christ was indeed born as a baby like us all, but He still remains, always, God. That dignity should always be visible. That is what tempers overly cutesy iconographic portrayals of the Child, something that western religious art quickly lost after the turn of the fourteenth century.

Smiley

"Cool" has several ways of thought, in this way I meant interesting and nice, not popular and slick.   Of course the dignity reigns, and he was God and man.  I agree, we shouldn't have cutesy type of icons of our God.  But the gentle hand on the cheek of the Theotokos, that's a powerful representation of the beauty of the love of the Theotokos to our savior, and the love and dependence of the "human" nature of God.

It's incredibly powerful that God became man, and was a baby, and needed his mother as any child needs their mother.   All the icons are beautiful.

The expressions of love and tenderness between the Mother of God and Christ in their icons also have another meaning, which is quite often overlooked, and which speak of the divinity and omniscience of the Child: He is consoling His mother, knowing what He will endure during His Passion, His suffering and death that she, too, knows will come to Him; consoling her in anticipation of His resurrection, reminding her that His raising will bring her, and us all, a joy which cannot be taken away, the greatest joy of all.

The hymnography of Holy Saturday and of the Paschal services is full of such imagery, most notably of ode 9 of the Canon of the Midnight Office. This verse is perhaps the best-known:

Do not weep for Me, Mother, as you see in a tomb the Son whom you conceived in your womb without seed; for I shall arise and be glorified, and I shall exalt in glory without ceasing those who with faith and love magnify you.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 12:12:10 AM by LBK » Logged
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