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Author Topic: Icons with Elephants?  (Read 587 times) Average Rating: 0
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thetreyloo
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« on: November 16, 2014, 01:23:58 PM »

Hello all,

First time poster, long time creeper. I'm looking for an icon that has an elephant in it. I've never seen one, but I'm working on an art project and it would really help if I could find one or something similar. It doesn't necessarily need to be an elephant; any big land-creature will do. No dragons, though. Any help anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2014, 06:32:00 PM »

In the many thousands of icons I have seen in my time, never have I seen an elephant in an icon. Horses and lions are common, sheep are seen from time to time, such as in icons of the Nativity, and a donkey is part of the icon of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem.

What is your art project? I truly hope you're not going to get "creative" with iconography. There's far too much of that being done these days.  Tongue
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 06:39:13 PM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2014, 06:53:04 PM »

Hello all,

First time poster, long time creeper. I'm looking for an icon that has an elephant in it. I've never seen one, but I'm working on an art project and it would really help if I could find one or something similar. It doesn't necessarily need to be an elephant; any big land-creature will do. No dragons, though. Any help anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Icons with sheep, goats, cows, pelicans, donkeys, peacocks, all kinds of fowl have been in icons....Elephants ?  why not.
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Antonis
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2014, 07:54:32 PM »





Here are a couple.
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2014, 08:02:29 PM »



An older one.



Not exactly an icon as per more conservative definitions, but the style is in many ways similar.



A nice Coptic one.
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2014, 08:05:20 PM »

So, in the many thousands of icons I've seen in my time (and after a quick google search), I've seen approximately four/five with elephants, though I'm sure one could find more.
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2014, 09:44:35 PM »

Thanks everybody, keep them coming. For anyone interested, I'm pairing events/themes from Tolkien's work with the icons depicting their allegorical value. Tolkien was a very religious man, and there's no doubt some of these religious scenes were on his mind when he was writing his great works of fiction. For instance, there's a pretty clear analog between Aragorn's return from the Paths of the Dead to help win the Battle of Pelenor Fields and Christ's resurrection. It's been a fun project, and I've made some pretty interesting connections that I wouldn't have otherwise noticed by looking through these icons.
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 10:01:51 PM »

I guess no one is going to mention the elephant in the room, here... Wink
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 11:11:36 PM »

You did not specify that it had to an Orthodox Icon, so here you go:

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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2014, 11:23:30 PM »

Thanks everybody, keep them coming. For anyone interested, I'm pairing events/themes from Tolkien's work with the icons depicting their allegorical value. Tolkien was a very religious man, and there's no doubt some of these religious scenes were on his mind when he was writing his great works of fiction. For instance, there's a pretty clear analog between Aragorn's return from the Paths of the Dead to help win the Battle of Pelenor Fields and Christ's resurrection. It's been a fun project, and I've made some pretty interesting connections that I wouldn't have otherwise noticed by looking through these icons.

Icons are not allegories of literary fantasies. They are holy objects to be venerated, which express the revelation of God Incarnate, and what the Church teaches and espouses. Please do not debase iconography by making it part of your project. Use other forms of art instead.
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2014, 11:43:30 PM »

Thanks everybody, keep them coming. For anyone interested, I'm pairing events/themes from Tolkien's work with the icons depicting their allegorical value. Tolkien was a very religious man, and there's no doubt some of these religious scenes were on his mind when he was writing his great works of fiction. For instance, there's a pretty clear analog between Aragorn's return from the Paths of the Dead to help win the Battle of Pelenor Fields and Christ's resurrection. It's been a fun project, and I've made some pretty interesting connections that I wouldn't have otherwise noticed by looking through these icons.

Icons are not allegories of literary fantasies. They are holy objects to be venerated, which express the revelation of God Incarnate, and what the Church teaches and espouses. Please do not debase iconography by making it part of your project. Use other forms of art instead.

I agree with LBK here. Messing around with icons is tempting God. You wouldn't use a chalice as part of a sculpture, would you?
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 12:10:31 AM »





Here are a couple.

Well, there you go......All of God's creation was good.
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 12:30:09 AM »

I'll also add that the animals in icons of the Creation or of saints such as the lion who dug St Mary of Egypt's grave, or the horses of warrior-saints, do not have an allegorical function in themselves. They are real and integral to the story the icon tells. The dragon in icons of St George is symbolic of his triumph over evil and sin, but it should also be pointed out that it is a rather late addition to the body of iconography of this saint, coming from Crusader art and western medieval legends.

Even where the mystical creatures from Revelation are featured in icons of the Evangelists, they should be kept small and unobtrusive. They are symbols of the work of these saints, but it is the saints themselves that are venerated and honored.
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 08:01:10 AM »

I suppose "art project" was not really the correct phrase. I apologize for using the word. I'm not actually doing anything with the icons besides looking at them and using them to gain better understanding of the events they actually represent- which is one of their primary purposes as far as I understand. I'm not compiling of editing them in any way. I understand, icons are not allegorical. But moments of Tolkien's stories certainly are. By better understanding Christian history and theology through the use of icons, I can (sometimes) better understand Tolkien's meaning.
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 08:15:54 AM »

Don't forget that Tolkien wasn't Orthodox. There might have been a religious thread in his work, but it is, in essence, a fantasy. Be content with that.

Using icons to gain "further insight" into Tolkien's work is using icons in ways never intended. As I wrote before, icons are, at their core and essence, the visual proclamation of Orthodox teaching and theology, and the expression of what is perfected and heavenly. They have nothing to do with the Tolkien stories, which are, in essence, the product of his own impressive imagination. Iconographers do not paint from their own imagination, nor should they give free rein to their artistic creativity in what is depicted. They are servants of the Church, and, like those who write hymns, their works must conform to what the Church teaches and believes.
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2014, 09:52:55 AM »

I think elephants are wonderful!  And I think that JRRT's books are wonderful!  And I think icons are more wonderful!  But I agree with LBK.

I think when you search for allegory in Tolkien's books, you'll find something that comes from your own imagination.  Which is ok, as long as you don't attribute it to the author. Your experience of the literature includes YOU.

Love, elephant
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thetreyloo
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 10:03:01 AM »

Great! I sincerely appreciate all of your input and wise words. However, I created this thread in order to find icons with elephants in them, not to have a theological discussion. That being said, has anyone else seen any elephants in icons?
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 06:29:07 PM »

Great! I sincerely appreciate all of your input and wise words. However, I created this thread in order to find icons with elephants in them, not to have a theological discussion. That being said, has anyone else seen any elephants in icons?

Why do you ask? Why elephants?
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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2014, 06:31:02 PM »

Great! I sincerely appreciate all of your input and wise words. However, I created this thread in order to find icons with elephants in them, not to have a theological discussion. That being said, has anyone else seen any elephants in icons?

Why do you ask? Why elephants?

They're a neat animal.
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2014, 06:36:02 PM »

Great! I sincerely appreciate all of your input and wise words. However, I created this thread in order to find icons with elephants in them, not to have a theological discussion. That being said, has anyone else seen any elephants in icons?

Why do you ask? Why elephants?

They're a neat animal.

I asked the OP, not you, James.
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« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2014, 08:18:35 PM »

I haven't seen them. I looked up icons of St. Thomas the Apostle (results here), in case they had any which showed him traveling to India. Didn't find any. Lot of nice churches and deacons, though.  angel
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« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2014, 08:24:04 PM »

I haven't seen them. I looked up icons of St. Thomas the Apostle (results here), in case they had any which showed him traveling to India. Didn't find any.

I think one of our admins might be Mor likely to know where you could find some.
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thetreyloo
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« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2014, 08:29:01 PM »

I haven't seen them. I looked up icons of St. Thomas the Apostle (results here), in case they had any which showed him traveling to India. Didn't find any. Lot of nice churches and deacons, though.  angel

Oooo, good thinking on that one. That's the kind of outside-the-box searching I came here for! Bravo!
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« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2014, 10:28:36 PM »

I suppose "art project" was not really the correct phrase. I apologize for using the word. I'm not actually doing anything with the icons besides looking at them and using them to gain better understanding of the events they actually represent- which is one of their primary purposes as far as I understand. I'm not compiling of editing them in any way. I understand, icons are not allegorical. But moments of Tolkien's stories certainly are. By better understanding Christian history and theology through the use of icons, I can (sometimes) better understand Tolkien's meaning.

As a fan of Tolkien myself, I'm definitely interested in the parallels you're trying to draw (via PM if you'd prefer Tongue). I'm not sure how much elephants in iconography will help though, since they don't seem to contain any particular symbolic meaning in and of themselves beyond being one animal among others (i.e. the Ark/Creation icons that Antonis shared).
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« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2014, 10:31:55 PM »

Everyone, some of the comments are getting pretty borderline, so please remember that Other Topics is not the place for argument/debate. Also, don't keep badgering the OP.
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