Author Topic: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?  (Read 500 times)

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Offline Nicholas_83

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Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« on: December 06, 2017, 01:10:26 AM »
I used to attend an Armenian parish. There was a beautiful (realistic rather than icon style) painting of the Theotokos and baby Jesus behind the altar but nothing else... From what I got to understand this is normal for Armenians. Why isn't iconography or imagery (I am familiar w khachkars... There is one outside that church) in general a big thing w Armenians?

Offline Dominika

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 08:27:41 AM »
They have icons/iconographis motives in liturgical books, Bible.. But as for churches, not so much. Maybe iconoclams hasn't reached Armenia (most part of it), so there wasn't need to  proove that icons are something canonical and Orthodox?...
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 07:39:47 AM »
The bema of most Armenian churches is decorated with icons.  It serves an iconostasis-like function (compare the single row of icons above the altar in some ancient churches in Coptic Cairo).
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 07:20:15 AM »
I've seen interior pics of St.Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral & saw some icons in there

like this one

https://st2.depositphotos.com/1226172/11546/i/950/depositphotos_115463652-stock-photo-yerevan-armenia-march-30-2016.jpg


Offline Nicholas_83

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 01:53:34 PM »
I've seen interior pics of St.Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral & saw some icons in there

like this one

https://st2.depositphotos.com/1226172/11546/i/950/depositphotos_115463652-stock-photo-yerevan-armenia-march-30-2016.jpg
You are indeed correct. A painting of Mary and infant Jesus at the altar does serm to be mandatory

Offline Nicodemusz138

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 10:31:04 AM »
Yeah, I cannot find much by googling "Armenian Icons" and stuff, mostly shows up paintings for artistic purposes.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2017, 10:37:32 AM »
They have icons/iconographis motives in liturgical books, Bible.. But as for churches, not so much. Maybe iconoclams hasn't reached Armenia (most part of it), so there wasn't need to  proove that icons are something canonical and Orthodox?...

Right, the icon saturation we see in EO churches is, in my understanding, an “In your face, heretics!” reaction to iconoclasm that apparently never got old.
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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 09:56:26 PM »
1st to second century synagogues had art, but in that time, Christianity was not a permitted religion, which makes having paintings and ikons difficult to inscribe and keep in their house churches. Besides that, paintings in those early days were not as elaborate and common among the general populus as they were many centuries later. And also I expect there was still some diminishment of religious use of even pictures in the earliest Christianity because of its roots in Judaism, which in turn was influenced by the Torah prohibition on engraved images.



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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 11:53:12 PM »
1st to second century synagogues had art, but in that time, Christianity was not a permitted religion, which makes having paintings and ikons difficult to inscribe and keep in their house churches. Besides that, paintings in those early days were not as elaborate and common among the general populus as they were many centuries later. And also I expect there was still some diminishment of religious use of even pictures in the earliest Christianity because of its roots in Judaism, which in turn was influenced by the Torah prohibition on engraved images.

Wait, the Jewish synagogues had icons, but the Christian churches didn't because they were being influenced not to by the Jewish synagogues?

And we do have at least one well-preserved church from that period with religious frescoes in it. In fact, it's down the street from the synagogue you seem to be alluding to.
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Offline Nicodemusz138

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2017, 08:35:13 AM »
1st to second century synagogues had art, but in that time, Christianity was not a permitted religion, which makes having paintings and ikons difficult to inscribe and keep in their house churches. Besides that, paintings in those early days were not as elaborate and common among the general populus as they were many centuries later. And also I expect there was still some diminishment of religious use of even pictures in the earliest Christianity because of its roots in Judaism, which in turn was influenced by the Torah prohibition on engraved images.

Wait, the Jewish synagogues had icons, but the Christian churches didn't because they were being influenced not to by the Jewish synagogues?

And we do have at least one well-preserved church from that period with religious frescoes in it. In fact, it's down the street from the synagogue you seem to be alluding to.

Every time I read this synagogue being mentioned a tear falls from my eye, as it was apparently destroyed some months ago in the conflict in Syria :'(

« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 08:36:43 AM by Nicodemusz138 »
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Offline Antonis

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 12:05:08 PM »
Unfortunately I know nothing about the origins of this icon beyond that it depicts St. Nerses liturgizing. I don't even remember where I found it. It's nice, I think.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 12:05:31 PM by Antonis »
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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 01:16:55 PM »
Tapestry?
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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 03:20:18 PM »
Tapestry?


could also be a reproduction of a mural onto canvas.....I have a Georgian one of David the Restorer, that'
s from a Monastery mural but put onto canvas rather than a board
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Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Why isn't iconography big in Armenian churches?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 03:44:32 PM »
Unfortunately I know nothing about the origins of this icon beyond that it depicts St. Nerses liturgizing. I don't even remember where I found it. It's nice, I think.

This image is from an illuminated manuscript.
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