Icons & Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church Info

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An icon (from the Greek word "eikon," "image") is a wooden panel
painting of a holy person or scene from Orthodox Christianity, the
religion of the Byzantine Empire that is practiced today mainly in
Greece and Russia. It was believed that these works acted as
intermediaries between worshipers and the holy personages they depicted.
Their pictorial language is stylized and primarily symbolic, rather
than literal and narrative. Indeed, every attitude, pose, and color
depicted in an icon has a precise meaning, and their painters--usually
monks--followed prescribed models from iconographic manuals.
The
goal of this book is to catalogue the vast heritage of images according
to iconographic type and subject, from the most ancient at the Monastery
of Saint Catherine in the Sinai to those from Greece, Constantinople,
and Russia. Chapters focus on the role of icons in the Orthodox liturgy
and on common iconic subjects, including the fathers and saints of the
Eastern Church and the life of Jesus and his followers. As with other
volumes in the Guide to Imagery series, this book includes a wealth of
color illustrations in which details are called out for
discussion.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.39

152 Ratings

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Reviews for Icons & Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church:

5

Nov 19, 2018

Initial impressions:

What an excellent resource on the art of Eastern iconography! I looked for a book to deepen my knowledge of the artwork in my church (Saint Constantine's Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Minneapolis, MN).

I remember a day (I must have been 14 or 15 years old - a *very* long time ago), when my friends and I were waiting to go to confession - one kid (a keen observer and a quick wit) asked me if I ever wondered why the infant Jesus was about to lose his sandal in the icon of Initial impressions:

What an excellent resource on the art of Eastern iconography! I looked for a book to deepen my knowledge of the artwork in my church (Saint Constantine's Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Minneapolis, MN).

I remember a day (I must have been 14 or 15 years old - a *very* long time ago), when my friends and I were waiting to go to confession - one kid (a keen observer and a quick wit) asked me if I ever wondered why the infant Jesus was about to lose his sandal in the icon of the Virgin Mary at the side altar of the church.

Well, I wondered about it on and off over the years, especially when I saw the same icon (with the "slipping sandal") in other churches. I had pretty much forgotten this detail until last month, when I had the opportunity to give a brief tour of the artwork in our church to a group of visitors. I took a look at the icon, and realized to my sudden panic that I still didn't know the answer to this. Mercifully, none of the people on the tour noticed this (or at least, none asked about it). I resolved to find out, and settled on this book as a likely source of wisdom. It did not disappoint on this detail.

I still have a bunch to learn: for instance, the examples of this icon (The Virgin of the Passion) provided in the book all show Mary clothe in red; the icon in our church shows her in blue. What is the significance of the difference? By the way - the cover image of the book is an example of this very icon (though you can't see the sandal slipping from Jesus's foot).

As you can see, I'm really a novice in this area. Any additional resources you can suggest would be greatly appreciated!

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in this particular area of art history. ...more
5

Dec 26, 2012

I love picture books and this one was so interesting on many levels. It had first class art, fascinating call outs on most of the pictures so you could begin to grasp the symbolism, and effectively linked them to the way they aid the Eastern Orthodox Church in worship. As well, naturally, this led to helping me too in inspiration, contemplation, and worship.

Getty Museum produced this book and they have a long series on a variety of art topics, both secular and religious. They are well worth I love picture books and this one was so interesting on many levels. It had first class art, fascinating call outs on most of the pictures so you could begin to grasp the symbolism, and effectively linked them to the way they aid the Eastern Orthodox Church in worship. As well, naturally, this led to helping me too in inspiration, contemplation, and worship.

Getty Museum produced this book and they have a long series on a variety of art topics, both secular and religious. They are well worth looking into if you, like me, also like picture books. ...more
3

Feb 12, 2012

Very nice "field guide" style book, with hundreds of images annotated with varying degrees of explanation.

The one thing I was looking for & couldn't find was a concise guide to the symbolism of colored clothing in icons and perhaps a few other common iconographical conventions, gathered in a few pages.
5

Jun 19, 2008

A beautiful book explaining the different icons of the Eastern Orthodox faith. So many icons in it, with gorgeous color. There is one glitch, there are thin black lines pointing to areas that are being explained. This doesn't bother me but it may bother some people.
4

Jan 07, 2015

This is a beautiful art book of Eastern Orthodox icons, with emphasis on the Russian tradition. The commentary is from the viewpoint of faith, not art history. The format is small for the purpose.
5

Sep 05, 2012

Beautiful book with great images. A great introduction to the subject.

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