Author Topic: Schlock Icons  (Read 494592 times)

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Offline HaydenTE

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3150 on: February 12, 2017, 07:58:30 AM »
Catholic Church in the Philippines
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 07:59:12 AM by HaydenTE »
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3151 on: February 12, 2017, 09:41:36 AM »
Catholic Church in the Philippines


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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3152 on: February 12, 2017, 09:50:16 AM »
How hasn't anyone expelled Lentz from the OFM (or even from existence)?

What is OFM? ...
Learn meditation.

Offline HaydenTE

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3153 on: February 12, 2017, 10:02:11 AM »
How hasn't anyone expelled Lentz from the OFM (or even from existence)?

What is OFM? ...

Order of Friars Minor, aka Franciscans.
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3154 on: February 12, 2017, 07:10:34 PM »
Re: a comment I made in another thread --



Yea, this is an interesting icon.  While it may be schlock by today's standards, it seems people took literally the description of his facial features.

Reports of dog-faced people were common.  They always existed somewhere else.
lol! So true
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3155 on: February 13, 2017, 03:30:39 AM »
Re: a comment I made in another thread --



Yea, this is an interesting icon.  While it may be schlock by today's standards, it seems people took literally the description of his facial features.

Reports of dog-faced people were common.  They always existed somewhere else.
Yeah, I wonder whether this was just one strain of mythology that ended up filling the void of ignorance about many exotic cultures; or if it was just a way to regard an ugly/animalistic people.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline LBK

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3156 on: February 13, 2017, 03:49:10 AM »
Yeah, I wonder whether this was just one strain of mythology that ended up filling the void of ignorance about many exotic cultures; or if it was just a way to regard an ugly/animalistic people.

This should help clear things up:

Condemned by whom?

Condemned is probably not the right word, but it is wrong.  From another thread

The story of the strong man ferrying travellers over the river on his back is of much later origin (probably 12thC), considering St Christopher of Lycia was martyred in about AD 250 under Emperor Decius. All paintings and images of Christopher carrying the Christ-child date from the second millennium AD, and are all of Western origin. There is no iconography of this saint in this type of portrayal prior to this; rather, he is portrayed as a warrior, which fits with the earlier story of his life as a soldier. St Ambrose of Milan wrote of the many thousands of pagans who were converted to Christianity by St Christopher.

How St Christopher came about to be portrayed with a dog's head is an unfortunate misunderstanding on the part of the iconographer who first painted him: St Christopher came from a region in Thessaly (northern Greece) called Kynoskephalai. This place-name means "dog-headed". So poor St Christopher was painted with a dog's head, where the iconographer mistakenly thought the name "dog-headed" referred to what the saint looked like, not where he came from. Other iconographers, unaware of this error, simply copied this form of portrayal.

There is also the story that St Christopher disfigured himself to detract from his handsomeness, lest any vanity cause him to stray from his life in Christ. This poses some problems in Orthodox thought and teaching, as self-mutilation, or the seeking of it, is generally regarded as wrong. However, irrespective of whether this story is true, it is not proper for an iconographer to portray such disfigurement in any saint. Icons are portrayals of a saint's spiritual reality, of a saint's perfected state in the eyes of God, and not of imperfections which illustrate mankind's fallen, imperfect state.

For example, a saint who wore spectacles during his earthly life should not be wearing them in icons. Examples include St John of Shanghai and San Francisco (1896-1966), Hieromartyr Benjamin of Petrograd (+1922), and St Luke the Surgeon of Simferopol (1876-1961). Another example is St Matrona of Moscow, another 20th C saint who was born blind. There are indeed many icons of her with her eyes closed (as they were in her earthly life, there are a number of photographs of her), however, the proper iconographic portrayal of her is with her eyes open. Though physically blind all her earthly life, by her life showed herself to be a model of spiritual illumination. Her physical eyes were useless, but her spiritual eyes were wide open. Thus she should be portrayed with her eyes open, to illustrate this spiritual reality.

Depicting St Christopher with a dog's head, or with an otherwise disfigured face in an icon, therefore, is quite wrong.


Found here
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3157 on: February 13, 2017, 04:06:19 AM »
Thanks. But I was rather thinking about cynocephaly in wider terms, I wonder if his region itself could have first been said to have dog-headed people, then became Cynoscephalae.
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3158 on: February 23, 2017, 04:59:06 PM »


Other works of the painter (some of them probably may be considered an art based on icons) can be find there, here I'm giving an example:
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Offline biro

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3159 on: February 23, 2017, 05:27:41 PM »
Is the second one supposed to look like a goat?
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3160 on: February 23, 2017, 05:32:16 PM »
Re: a comment I made in another thread --



Yea, this is an interesting icon.  While it may be schlock by today's standards, it seems people took literally the description of his facial features.

Reports of dog-faced people were common.  They always existed somewhere else.
Yeah, I wonder whether this was just one strain of mythology that ended up filling the void of ignorance about many exotic cultures; or if it was just a way to regard an ugly/animalistic people.

This excellent article points out why dogheaded Saint Christopher icons are quite correct:

http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/the-icon-of-st-christopher/
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3161 on: February 23, 2017, 05:46:09 PM »
Is the second one supposed to look like a goat?
I think so.
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Offline biro

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3162 on: February 23, 2017, 07:47:37 PM »
Thanks.
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3163 on: February 23, 2017, 09:03:44 PM »
Re: a comment I made in another thread --



Yea, this is an interesting icon.  While it may be schlock by today's standards, it seems people took literally the description of his facial features.

Reports of dog-faced people were common.  They always existed somewhere else.
Yeah, I wonder whether this was just one strain of mythology that ended up filling the void of ignorance about many exotic cultures; or if it was just a way to regard an ugly/animalistic people.

This excellent article points out why dogheaded Saint Christopher icons are quite correct:

http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/the-icon-of-st-christopher/
Awesome!
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Offline HaydenTE

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3164 on: February 23, 2017, 09:14:26 PM »


If it wasn't abstracted the way it was, I'd really like it.
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3165 on: February 23, 2017, 11:04:14 PM »
Re: a comment I made in another thread --



Yea, this is an interesting icon.  While it may be schlock by today's standards, it seems people took literally the description of his facial features.

Reports of dog-faced people were common.  They always existed somewhere else.
Yeah, I wonder whether this was just one strain of mythology that ended up filling the void of ignorance about many exotic cultures; or if it was just a way to regard an ugly/animalistic people.

This excellent article points out why dogheaded Saint Christopher icons are quite correct:

http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/the-icon-of-st-christopher/

The article is interesting for its observations from cultural history to explain dog-headedness, but hardly excellent. It ignores a fundamental principle of iconography: that saints are to be depicted in their spiritual perfection. For example, St Matrona of Moscow, though blind from birth and bedridden for much of her life, should be depicted with her eyes open, and standing. Her physical eyes were useless, but her spiritual eyes were wide open, and she now stands before the throne of God along with all the other saints. Saints who wore glasses in their earthly life should not be painted wearing them. Saints who were crippled should be shown upright, not bent over or bedridden. Etc.

Therefore, it is a major error to depict a dog-headed saint. If the dog's head represents the negatives the author has expressed, then he should have realized that such symbolism should have no place in the iconography of a saint. Also, by painting St Christopher with a dog's head reduces him to a mere symbol of otherness, of fear, of strangeness, instead of a man sanctified by his martyrdom.

The story of the strong man ferrying travelers across a river is also not part of Orthodox tradition, so its mention, and the symbolic ramifications discussed, while interesting, are essentially irrelevant in considering how St Christopher of Lycia, a third-century warrior-saint, is to be portrayed in icons.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 11:11:42 PM by LBK »
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3166 on: February 24, 2017, 10:21:33 AM »
Re: a comment I made in another thread --



Yea, this is an interesting icon.  While it may be schlock by today's standards, it seems people took literally the description of his facial features.

Reports of dog-faced people were common.  They always existed somewhere else.
Yeah, I wonder whether this was just one strain of mythology that ended up filling the void of ignorance about many exotic cultures; or if it was just a way to regard an ugly/animalistic people.

This excellent article points out why dogheaded Saint Christopher icons are quite correct:

http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/the-icon-of-st-christopher/

The article is interesting for its observations from cultural history to explain dog-headedness, but hardly excellent. It ignores a fundamental principle of iconography: that saints are to be depicted in their spiritual perfection. For example, St Matrona of Moscow, though blind from birth and bedridden for much of her life, should be depicted with her eyes open, and standing. Her physical eyes were useless, but her spiritual eyes were wide open, and she now stands before the throne of God along with all the other saints. Saints who wore glasses in their earthly life should not be painted wearing them. Saints who were crippled should be shown upright, not bent over or bedridden. Etc.

Therefore, it is a major error to depict a dog-headed saint. If the dog's head represents the negatives the author has expressed, then he should have realized that such symbolism should have no place in the iconography of a saint. Also, by painting St Christopher with a dog's head reduces him to a mere symbol of otherness, of fear, of strangeness, instead of a man sanctified by his martyrdom.

The story of the strong man ferrying travelers across a river is also not part of Orthodox tradition, so its mention, and the symbolic ramifications discussed, while interesting, are essentially irrelevant in considering how St Christopher of Lycia, a third-century warrior-saint, is to be portrayed in icons.

I'll take the expertise of a practicing, accomplished iconographer and scholar over the fake rules invented by a self-appointed internet expert.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline ilyazhito

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3167 on: February 26, 2017, 12:04:06 AM »


Other works of the painter (some of them probably may be considered an art based on icons) can be find there, here I'm giving an example:

I think that whoever made this must be either high on drugs or really confused. The eyes in the neck, flaming wheels, swords, sitting on fire, and the "Goat of God?" are all disturbing. What is he trying to say with these paintings?

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3168 on: February 26, 2017, 01:24:04 PM »
I'll take the expertise of a practicing, accomplished iconographer and scholar over the fake rules invented by a self-appointed internet expert.
What's wrong with LBK's post? Is it untrue that saints are to be depicted in their spiritual perfection?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 01:45:39 PM by byhisgrace »
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Offline HaydenTE

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3169 on: February 26, 2017, 03:46:36 PM »
Re: a comment I made in another thread --



Yea, this is an interesting icon.  While it may be schlock by today's standards, it seems people took literally the description of his facial features.

Reports of dog-faced people were common.  They always existed somewhere else.
Yeah, I wonder whether this was just one strain of mythology that ended up filling the void of ignorance about many exotic cultures; or if it was just a way to regard an ugly/animalistic people.

This excellent article points out why dogheaded Saint Christopher icons are quite correct:

http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/the-icon-of-st-christopher/

The article is interesting for its observations from cultural history to explain dog-headedness, but hardly excellent. It ignores a fundamental principle of iconography: that saints are to be depicted in their spiritual perfection. For example, St Matrona of Moscow, though blind from birth and bedridden for much of her life, should be depicted with her eyes open, and standing. Her physical eyes were useless, but her spiritual eyes were wide open, and she now stands before the throne of God along with all the other saints. Saints who wore glasses in their earthly life should not be painted wearing them. Saints who were crippled should be shown upright, not bent over or bedridden. Etc.

Therefore, it is a major error to depict a dog-headed saint. If the dog's head represents the negatives the author has expressed, then he should have realized that such symbolism should have no place in the iconography of a saint. Also, by painting St Christopher with a dog's head reduces him to a mere symbol of otherness, of fear, of strangeness, instead of a man sanctified by his martyrdom.

The story of the strong man ferrying travelers across a river is also not part of Orthodox tradition, so its mention, and the symbolic ramifications discussed, while interesting, are essentially irrelevant in considering how St Christopher of Lycia, a third-century warrior-saint, is to be portrayed in icons.




"For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Mark 8:36 (DRA)

Offline LBK

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3170 on: February 26, 2017, 06:36:35 PM »





Any reason why you posted these, HaydenTE?  :)
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3171 on: February 26, 2017, 10:56:18 PM »





Any reason why you posted these, HaydenTE?  :)

They seem to disagree with the canons your proclaiming, mainly that deformities should not be shown in icons. Are we to reject them?
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3172 on: February 27, 2017, 10:48:50 PM »

Any reason why you posted these, HaydenTE?  :)

They seem to disagree with the canons your proclaiming, mainly that deformities should not be shown in icons. Are we to reject them?


The icon of St Seraphim is fine. His inclination is a posture of reverence, as is also seen in deesis (supplicatory) series, where saints all bow slightly towards Christ who is standing or seated at the center of the icon. While it hints at his physical deformity in the aftermath of the beating he received at the hands of thieves, it is subtle, and not like the often grotesque portrayal seen in many 19th century paintings of him.

This principle of understatement and subtlety is most notable in icons of the Crucifixion. We do not see a ravaged, bloodied, tortured figure on the cross, but the Son of God willingly and freely giving Himself up to death in His love for mankind.

There are many saints who were physically blind, but St Matrona is the only one I can recall who is generally shown with her eyes closed. It is possible that the profusion of icons of St Matrona with her eyes closed may have arisen from the first iconographer/s using photographs as a reference. Other iconographers would have simply copied this type of portrayal, likely in honest ignorance, or through not looking deeper into what the saint’s life had to say about her spiritual gifts.

Thankfully, there are increasing numbers of icons of St Matrona with her eyes open, like these:





A comparable case is that of a newly-proclaimed Greek saint, Nikiphoros of Chios, a monk who contracted leprosy in his youth. The disease steadily disfigured his face and hands, turning him into a cripple with failing eyesight, and eventually rendering him blind.



His clairvoyance grew, even as his eyesight failed. None of his icons show him blind and maimed. He is whole and restored. Here are a couple:







« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 10:51:49 PM by LBK »
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3173 on: February 28, 2017, 10:22:10 AM »





Any reason why you posted these, HaydenTE?  :)

They seem to disagree with the canons your proclaiming, mainly that deformities should not be shown in icons. Are we to reject them?

To which one might add icons of Saint Mary of Egypt as an emaciated crone, John the Forerunner carrying his head on a plate, and basically anyone with grey hair.

To criticize iconographers for reproducing these features out of "ignorance" of a rule invented by a 21st century internet expert is silly.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3174 on: February 28, 2017, 11:05:10 AM »





Any reason why you posted these, HaydenTE?  :)

They seem to disagree with the canons your proclaiming, mainly that deformities should not be shown in icons. Are we to reject them?

I just realize used the wrong your/you're. My apologies.
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3175 on: February 28, 2017, 12:36:22 PM »
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3176 on: February 28, 2017, 12:39:27 PM »

To which one might add icons of Saint Mary of Egypt as an emaciated crone, John the Forerunner carrying his head on a plate, and basically anyone with grey hair.

To criticize iconographers for reproducing these features out of "ignorance" of a rule invented by a 21st century internet expert is silly.

Showing signs of age and the effects of ascetic life is perfectly permissible. The degree of wizening in a face follows the same principle I mentioned earlier: enough to express the saint’s ageing or asceticism, without being ugly or grotesque.

Gray or white hair is not a deformity. Far from it - it is seen as a sign of wisdom and honor, in ancient cultures, up until recently in western cultures, and in scripture, such as in Proverbs 16:

The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.


One of the most recognizable of saints in iconography is the white-haired St Nicholas of Myra. Here’s one of the hymns of his feast:

Heir of God, fellow communicant of Christ, minister of the Lord, holy Nicholas; your name was as your life. For the radiance of your countenance bore witness to your intellect shining forth in your white-haired head and your innocence of spirit; and your serenity proclaimed your meekness. Your life was glorious and your repose is with the saints. Pray on behalf of our souls.

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3177 on: February 28, 2017, 12:56:24 PM »

To which one might add icons of Saint Mary of Egypt as an emaciated crone, John the Forerunner carrying his head on a plate, and basically anyone with grey hair.

To criticize iconographers for reproducing these features out of "ignorance" of a rule invented by a 21st century internet expert is silly.

Showing signs of age and the effects of ascetic life is perfectly permissible. The degree of wizening in a face follows the same principle I mentioned earlier: enough to express the saint’s ageing or asceticism, without being ugly or grotesque.

The degradation of the body, whether through age or mortification, is a mark of corruption. Likewise grey hair, however it might be used to connote wisdom, is a sign of senescence and therefore traceable to the fall. If you want to say, "But Saint Mary's wizening is meant to highlight her spiritual struggle in the desert," or "Saint Elijah's grey hair represents his wisdom," fine and good, but these outward traits still only occur naturally from the corruption of the body. And if traits associated with natural corruption can be used to express spiritual perfection, then this opens the door to spectacles, blindness, and all the other characteristics you are trying to rule out. Saint John Maximovitch's spectacles, for instance, can be taken to represent his diligence in reading and his scholarship.
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“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline LBK

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3178 on: February 28, 2017, 01:07:18 PM »
The degradation of the body, whether through age or mortification, is a mark of corruption. Likewise grey hair, however it might be used to connote wisdom, is a sign of senescence and therefore traceable to the fall. If you want to say, "But Saint Mary's wizening is meant to highlight her spiritual struggle in the desert," or "Saint Elijah's grey hair represents his wisdom," fine and good, but these outward traits still only occur naturally from the corruption of the body. And if traits associated with natural corruption can be used to express spiritual perfection, then this opens the door to spectacles, blindness, and all the other characteristics you are trying to rule out. Saint John Maximovitch's spectacles, for instance, can be taken to represent his diligence in reading and his scholarship.

From one of my earlier posts on St Matrona:

St Matrona of Moscow, though blind from birth and bedridden for much of her life, should be depicted with her eyes open, and standing. Her physical eyes were useless, but her spiritual eyes were wide open, and she now stands before the throne of God along with all the other saints.

St Matrona was famous for her clairvoyance, as was St Nikiphoros. To paint them with their eyes closed robs the icon of the ability to express the undeniable spiritual gift they had.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3179 on: February 28, 2017, 01:09:12 PM »
On the contrary, painting Saint Matrona with her eyes closed shows her openness to a world beyond the senses.
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“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3180 on: February 28, 2017, 01:11:57 PM »
Saint John Maximovitch's spectacles, for instance, can be taken to represent his diligence in reading and his scholarship.

On the contrary, painting Saint Matrona with her eyes closed shows her openness to a world beyond the senses.

 :)
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline LBK

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3181 on: February 28, 2017, 01:13:16 PM »
On the contrary, painting Saint Matrona with her eyes closed shows her openness to a world beyond the senses.

How so?

And how is it that no other saint who was blind is shown with their eyes closed in their icons?
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3182 on: February 28, 2017, 01:32:27 PM »
On the contrary, painting Saint Matrona with her eyes closed shows her openness to a world beyond the senses.

How so?

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." In instruction for prayer, Orthodox Christians are often advised to close their eyes, and generally to guard the senses. In a lot of saints' lives one is told that saint so-and-so despised the corruptible beauty of the world, and considered it not even worth looking at. So closing one's eyes can be easily inferred to signify withdrawing from the corruptible, transient, sensory world and entering the spiritual world.

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And how is it that no other saint who was blind is shown with their eyes closed in their icons?

Well, perhaps, as you said, their open eyes suggest that their spiritual eyes are open. If you were an artist you would understand that the same concept can be expressed in numerous, and even conflicting, ways.
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“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline LBK

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3183 on: February 28, 2017, 02:28:26 PM »
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." In instruction for prayer, Orthodox Christians are often advised to close their eyes, and generally to guard the senses. In a lot of saints' lives one is told that saint so-and-so despised the corruptible beauty of the world, and considered it not even worth looking at. So closing one's eyes can be easily inferred to signify withdrawing from the corruptible, transient, sensory world and entering the spiritual world.

Yet the standard instruction for prayer is to pray in front of an icon, with one's eyes open, contemplating the icon and what it expresses. Prayer with open eyes, especially when before an icon, guards against imaginative imagery and thoughts better than prayer with eyes closed.

As for the "corruptible beauty of the world", icons, though they are made of earthly substances, attempt to portray what is not of this world, the beauty of heaven and those who are spiritually perfected.

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Well, perhaps, as you said, their open eyes suggest that their spiritual eyes are open. If you were an artist you would understand that the same concept can be expressed in numerous, and even conflicting, ways.

In art, perhaps. But the unwavering tradition of iconography is to depict saints who were blind with their eyes open, those who were maimed as whole, etc.

From the akathist to St Matrona:

As an angel in the flesh you appeared on earth, blessed Matrona, fulfilling the will of God. Though born in bodily blindness, yet the Lord, who makes the blind wise and loves the righteous, enlightened your spiritual eyes, that you might serve His people, and the works of God be made manifest through you.  Therefore with love we cry to you such things as these:

Hail, chosen by God from infancy;
Hail, you who were covered by the grace of the Holy Spirit from your cradle;
Hail, you who from childhood was enriched with the gift of miracles;
Hail, you who were filled with wisdom from God on high;
Hail, you who foresaw the will of God through spiritual eyes;
Hail, you who puts to shame the wise of this age that are blinded in mind;
Hail, you who leads deluded souls unto God;
Hail, you who relieves from grief and from sorrow;
Hail, righteous mother Matrona, fervent intercessor for us before God.

The rest of the akathist has further references to her spiritual eyes being open, her clairvoyance, etc.

Troparion to the saint:

Let us the faithful today praise blessed eldress Matrona made wise by God; flower of the land of Tula and glorious adornment of the city of Moscow, for whom daylight was unknown but who was enlightened by the light of Christ and enriched by the gifts of insight and healing: You were a sojourner and wanderer upon the earth, but now in the heavenly chambers you stand before the throne of God and intercede for our souls.

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Offline HaydenTE

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3184 on: February 28, 2017, 02:58:02 PM »
On the contrary, painting Saint Matrona with her eyes closed shows her openness to a world beyond the senses.
And how is it that no other saint who was blind is shown with their eyes closed in their icons?
Just a hypothesis, but it may have to do with why the Saint was blind or when they were blinded. Some blind people keep their eyes closed all the time, but some, especially those that used to be able to see, keep them open.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3185 on: February 28, 2017, 03:06:31 PM »
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." In instruction for prayer, Orthodox Christians are often advised to close their eyes, and generally to guard the senses. In a lot of saints' lives one is told that saint so-and-so despised the corruptible beauty of the world, and considered it not even worth looking at. So closing one's eyes can be easily inferred to signify withdrawing from the corruptible, transient, sensory world and entering the spiritual world.

Yet the standard instruction for prayer is to pray in front of an icon, with one's eyes open, contemplating the icon and what it expresses.

Not for noetic prayer (Jesus prayer and otherwise), for which we are instructed to close our eyes and avoid any images, even apparently holy ones. In this context glancing at icons is allowed to dispel harmful images and thoughts, but we are not to constantly stare at them.

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Prayer with open eyes, especially when before an icon, guards against imaginative imagery and thoughts better than prayer with eyes closed.

The hesychasts disagree with you. And Saint Matrona evidently did just fine without outward sight.

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As for the "corruptible beauty of the world", icons, though they are made of earthly substances, attempt to portray what is not of this world, the beauty of heaven and those who are spiritually perfected.

Pure prayer is imageless.

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In art, perhaps. But the unwavering tradition of iconography is to depict saints who were blind with their eyes open, those who were maimed as whole, etc.

Obviously, that is not the unwavering tradition of iconography. Hence, the icon of Saint Matrona with her eyes closed, or Saint Seraphim with his crippled stoop, or Saint Mary of Egypt emaciated, or Saint John the Baptist with his head on a plate, or Saint Stefan Brankovic without his eyes. The fact that you personally don't like this imagery does not constitute an unwavering tradition against them.

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for whom daylight was unknown but who was enlightened by the light of Christ

This supports an iconography of the saint with her eyes closed, and the light radiating from inward.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 03:11:00 PM by Iconodule »
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“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline LBK

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3186 on: February 28, 2017, 03:13:06 PM »
Just a hypothesis, but it may have to do with why the Saint was blind or when they were blinded. Some blind people keep their eyes closed all the time, but some, especially those that used to be able to see, keep them open.

If that were the case, we would see icons of blind saints with either eyes closed or open, depending on whether their blindness was congenital or acquired. The iconographic record does not show this. St Matrona stands out as an exception, and a very recent one at that. The hymns to her all point to the requirement that she be portrayed with her eyes open. Iconography and hymnography go hand in hand. They are counterparts, the visual and verbal expressions of what we believe.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3187 on: February 28, 2017, 03:15:43 PM »
The hymns to her all point to the requirement that she be portrayed with her eyes open.

They really don't.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline HaydenTE

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3188 on: February 28, 2017, 03:16:20 PM »
Just a hypothesis, but it may have to do with why the Saint was blind or when they were blinded. Some blind people keep their eyes closed all the time, but some, especially those that used to be able to see, keep them open.

If that were the case, we would see icons of blind saints with either eyes closed or open, depending on whether their blindness was congenital or acquired. The iconographic record does not show this. St Matrona stands out as an exception, and a very recent one at that. The hymns to her all point to the requirement that she be portrayed with her eyes open. Iconography and hymnography go hand in hand. They are counterparts, the visual and verbal expressions of what we believe.

The hymn you posted states that although she was blind her "spiritual eyes" were open. How can one depict spiritual eyes, without having them confused for physical eyes?
"For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Mark 8:36 (DRA)

Offline LBK

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3189 on: February 28, 2017, 03:36:53 PM »
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Not for noetic prayer

Many strive towards it, few will achieve it. The majority,  including most non-monastics, have to "make do" with what I described. God can deal with us how He wishes.

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The hesychasts disagree with you.

In another thread you took issue with a supposedly monastic practice infiltrating parish practice. Now it seems you're attempting to impose a monastic practice on laymen.  :o

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And Saint Matrona evidently did just fine without outward sight.

As hymns to her attest, her infirmity was a blessing. Her physical eyes were useless, her spiritual eyes could see the will of God. That's a gift very, very few of us will receive.

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Pure prayer is imageless.

Again, a very rare ideal. For the rest of us, icons and keeping our eyes open is a real help.

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The fact that you personally don't like this imagery does not constitute an unwavering tradition against them.

It has nothing to do with my own taste, but with what the church, through established tradition, has to say. I'm content with what the Church has to say about this saint's spiritual gifts, which, in turn, should inform her iconography. On St Seraphim's stoop, I have already posted on that. St John the Baptist is not shown as a headless figure holding his severed head on a platter, but whole.

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This supports an iconography of the saint with her eyes closed, and the light radiating from inward.

There is no support for your proposal. The inner light of God is expressed by the halo around a saint's head, and, where this is carried out, by fine gold highlights on the saint's garments. Both are ancient and well-established ways of depicting this.

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3190 on: February 28, 2017, 03:38:36 PM »
The hymns to her all point to the requirement that she be portrayed with her eyes open.

They really don't.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3191 on: February 28, 2017, 03:39:47 PM »
Just a hypothesis, but it may have to do with why the Saint was blind or when they were blinded. Some blind people keep their eyes closed all the time, but some, especially those that used to be able to see, keep them open.

If that were the case, we would see icons of blind saints with either eyes closed or open, depending on whether their blindness was congenital or acquired. The iconographic record does not show this. St Matrona stands out as an exception, and a very recent one at that. The hymns to her all point to the requirement that she be portrayed with her eyes open. Iconography and hymnography go hand in hand. They are counterparts, the visual and verbal expressions of what we believe.

The hymn you posted states that although she was blind her "spiritual eyes" were open. How can one depict spiritual eyes, without having them confused for physical eyes?

Icons depict what is heavenly, perfected and transformed.
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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3192 on: February 28, 2017, 03:44:41 PM »
Just a hypothesis, but it may have to do with why the Saint was blind or when they were blinded. Some blind people keep their eyes closed all the time, but some, especially those that used to be able to see, keep them open.

If that were the case, we would see icons of blind saints with either eyes closed or open, depending on whether their blindness was congenital or acquired. The iconographic record does not show this. St Matrona stands out as an exception, and a very recent one at that. The hymns to her all point to the requirement that she be portrayed with her eyes open. Iconography and hymnography go hand in hand. They are counterparts, the visual and verbal expressions of what we believe.

The hymn you posted states that although she was blind her "spiritual eyes" were open. How can one depict spiritual eyes, without having them confused for physical eyes?

Icons depict what is heavenly, perfected and transformed.

But they do so based on physical realities.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3193 on: February 28, 2017, 03:54:01 PM »
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Not for noetic prayer

Many strive towards it, few will achieve it. The majority,  including most non-monastics, have to "make do" with what I described. God can deal with us how He wishes.

We are talking about an icon of Saint Matrona, not "the majority, including most non-monastics."

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In another thread you took issue with a supposedly monastic practice infiltrating parish practice. Now it seems you're attempting to impose a monastic practice on laymen.  :o

We are talking about an icon of Saint Matrona, not the average layman.

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As hymns to her attest, her infirmity was a blessing. Her physical eyes were useless, her spiritual eyes could see the will of God. That's a gift very, very few of us will receive.

We are talking about an icon of Saint Matrona, not "us."

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Pure prayer is imageless.

Again, a very rare ideal. For the rest of us, icons and keeping our eyes open is a real help.

We are talking about an icon of Saint Matrona, not "the rest of us".

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It has nothing to do with my own taste.

Clearly it does. As is your wont, you are inventing rules and fabricating traditions to suit your personal taste. There is not a shred of evidence, from hymnography or iconography, to support your assertion.

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I'm content with what the Church has to say about this saint's spiritual gifts, which, in turn, should inform her iconography.

Clearly you are not content with what the Church has to say, since you feel the need to pontificate on things the Church is silent about.

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The inner light of God is expressed by the halo around a saint's head, and, where this is carried out, by fine gold highlights on the saint's garments. Both are ancient and well-established ways of depicting this.

Then there is no problem with Saint Matrona having her eyes closed, as long as she has a halo. Lex credendi, lex orendi.
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“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline LBK

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Re: Schlock Icons
« Reply #3194 on: February 28, 2017, 03:58:11 PM »
Just a hypothesis, but it may have to do with why the Saint was blind or when they were blinded. Some blind people keep their eyes closed all the time, but some, especially those that used to be able to see, keep them open.

If that were the case, we would see icons of blind saints with either eyes closed or open, depending on whether their blindness was congenital or acquired. The iconographic record does not show this. St Matrona stands out as an exception, and a very recent one at that. The hymns to her all point to the requirement that she be portrayed with her eyes open. Iconography and hymnography go hand in hand. They are counterparts, the visual and verbal expressions of what we believe.

The hymn you posted states that although she was blind her "spiritual eyes" were open. How can one depict spiritual eyes, without having them confused for physical eyes?

Icons depict what is heavenly, perfected and transformed.

But they do so based on physical realities.

Indeed they do, but icons are not photographs. The physical crucified Christ probably looked more like this:



than this:



But which one does the Church venerate?
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