Questions tagged [iconography]

For questions pertaining to the subject matter of Sacred images and it’s science known as iconography.

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Mudras in Orthodox icons? [duplicate]

Why is it common in many Orthodox icons that Jesus Christ and the saints are represented making mudras? For example: Christ the Pantocrator icon by Jovan the Zograf
Arwenz's user avatar
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Question about the letters in the Mandylion Icon

I am trying to determine what language the letters around Christ's head in the Mandylion Icon are written in and what they are equivalent to in English. I think in the Icon above, they are ancient ...
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Arguments for and against images of God

I am orthodox christian and on my walls I have icons of Jesus and Saints. But theese days I thought of the stature Christ the Redeemer from Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and I remembered some words from a ...
Bogdan's user avatar
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Following the Great Schism, what replaced the ecumenical councils' canons on art?

There are much simpler ways to frame this question, but for dramatic effect, consider the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb which was finished in 1432 and the Qunisext Council. In the roughly 700 years ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

On Images of God the Father According to Catholicism?

No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18) QUESTION: Is there anything in Catholic doctrine which prohibits or ...
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Early Church on image veneration?

Is there any archeological or written evidence for image veneration in the first few centuries especially in the ante Nicene period outside the Rome? Related - What was the ante-Nicene Fathers' ...
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Please help identify this icon of a young man holding a small cross

Hello I would like help to identify this icon photograph. It is Greek Orthodox icon with a man holding a cross.
kyrieelison's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
544 views

Is the Dog-Headed icon of Saint Christopher canon in the Orthodox Church?

I have seen icons of St. Christopher (Αγιος Χριστοφορος) with a Dog-Head and wanting to know officially if somewhere the Orthodox they see this as canon. It's something that has come up multiple times ...
MaterialFuture's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
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Do Roman Catholics really venerate Icons and Holy Scripture equally?

The fourth council of Constantinople, held in 869-870 under Pope Hadrian II, is recognized as an official ecumenical council by the Roman Catholic Church (according to Catholic.com). The EWTN website ...
Mike Borden's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are there any sects that prohibit the use of images in general?

Are there any Christian sects that prohibit the use of images in general (even for art/entertainment)?
Ben Pettis's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
164 views

Identifying Saints in Icon

Could anyone help identify the two Saints pictured in this icon? I believe they're pictured standing beneath the Image of Edessa. Also, if anyone has any sense of the date, I would greatly appreciate ...
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What is the meaning of the three letters in the halo of the Acheiropoieta?

In many renditions of the Acheiropoieta, three letters are present in the halo around Christ's face: omega, omicron, eta. (This is the usual clockwise, left-to-right order; but in other versions the ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are there rules regarding the content of Roman Catholic artwork?

It stands to reason that one cannot display anything that one desires within a Roman Catholic place of worship. In regards to paintings, statuary, stained glass, and iconography on display withing ...
Mike Borden's user avatar
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4 votes
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Who are the people depicted in Dionisius' famous icon of Christ's descent into hell?

The renowned Russian Orthodox icon painter Dionisius produced a famous, and exquisitely beautiful, depiction of Christ's descent into hell. However, I'm having trouble identifying most of the figures ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
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Christ and the Believer Icon (Companion Icon) origin?

I was in Taize and besides finding it to be a rather interesting place, I found a lot of refreshing symbols there. Particularly the (based on Taize page) Christ and the Believer Icon (or the companion ...
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How does the "church" reconcile breaking the 2nd commandments religiously? [closed]

I have been seeking after our Lord for many years now, I pray that the Holy Spirit amplify my faith and discerning of truth. Having researched for many years I find myself wondering how has the church ...
Jason Henley's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why is the Ichthys symbol almost always facing left?

This question is very straight forward: is there any reason for the Ichthys symbol to be almost always facing left? A simple google search will show this pattern. Is there any theology or even ...
Filipe Merker's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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Explanation of Russian assorted saints and festivities icon "Plenka"

Monastery/production company Sofrino supplies icon "Plenka" of assorted saints and festivities: ИКОНА НА ДЕРЕВЯННОМ ПЛАНШЕТЕ 18Х24 ПЛЕНКА I have bought one in almost A4 format but still the writing ...
TomR's user avatar
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2 answers
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What does the symbology in this painting of the Trinity mean?

This image is in a Catholic hospital in Spokane, WA. I understand the Father/Son/Holy Spirit symbology, the ABBA reference, and the initials of the Christ. But three things in this image I cannot ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why do Greek Orthodox venerate icons and Roman Catholic statues?

Historically how and why did this difference arise?
Dimopohg's user avatar
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1 answer
264 views

Questions about this icon of Saint Sophia

Below is an icon of Saint Sophia and her three daughters (Faith, Hope, and Charity). It's so cute! I hope someone who is knowledgeable about iconography can answer a couple questions I have about it. ...
Pascal's Wager's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
587 views

Is there a dogmatic or theological (yet not dogmatic) justification for kneeling before a statue/icon of the Virgin Mary? [duplicate]

We Catholics keel when praying in front of an icon representing God (e.g. a statue of Jesus, or a crucifix as in some confessionals), or during an Eucharistic Adoration. However, some people also ...
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4 votes
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According to the Eastern Orthodox, what are the rules for acquiring / owning icons?

The Eastern Orthodox churches generally place great importance on icons. I remember reading that they say private owners should not buy icons (but can e.g. get them as a gift). I'd like to know what ...
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Besides St. Casimir, are any other saints portrayed with three hands in iconography?

Other than the icon of St. Casimir in Vilnius (below), are there other examples of saints with three hands? Does a third hand make up part of the iconography of St. John the Evangelist? Image by ...
Thomas E. Gullickson's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
377 views

Identifying a Saint on a Greek Orthodox icon?

I got this icon from Greece, however I was not able to identify the Saint. Could anyone help?
user37881's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why is the interlocking-squares (gammadia) a symbol of the Melchizedek Priesthood?

I was reading about the relatively new discovery of the Apostle Phillip's gravesite in Turkey, and it briefly mentioned that the square was represented in his grave and it was significant because the ...
Butterfly and Bones's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why do images of saints often depict them with unusual hand gestures?

Many saints are often depicted holding a book or some other object. However, I have noticed that there are quite a few that have unusual hand gestures. Why is this? Augustine of Hippo Index finger, ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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What is the Biblical support for a distinction between veneration and worship?

I was reading a question about icons, and this raised some questions for me. Catholic and Eastern Orthodox beliefs hold to there being a difference between worship and veneration. What is the ...
JesusIsComingSoon's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
316 views

In Eastern Orthodoxy, how is an icon recognized as inspired?

In a discussion on imagery and icons, the Orthodox Study Bible says: Every image, or icon, of Christ has significant theological content. For it proclaims anew the Incarnation of God, who "became ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
228 views

Violence and Iconography

Are there any rules for painting (or praying) Orthodox Christian icons that disallow depictions of violence or conflict? For example: Would an icon depicting a murder be a problem?
Stephen's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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Why do Syrian Orthodox churches use only paintings and not sculptures, unlike Catholic churches?

I am an Orthodox Christian, and in our church we don't have sculptures unlike Catholic churches in my area. We only have paintings and pictures. I don't know if this is because of the bull sculpture ...
zod's user avatar
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1 answer
361 views

Is an icon of Christ without a cross in the halo Orthodox Christian? [closed]

Is an icon of Christ without a cross in the halo Orthodox Christian? ![enter image description here][1]
Jon P's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why (and when) did the empty cross v.s. crucifix split happen? [duplicate]

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix whereas most Protestant denominations make exclusive use of an empty cross. When and why did the Protestant ...
Please stop being evil's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are Roman Catholics required at any time to bow down to statues or images?

Are Roman Catholics required at any time to bow down or make obeisance to or kiss statues, images, icons, etc. (i.e., inanimate objects)? If so, is it considered a sin not to?
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6 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why do Catholics bow for icons of the Virgin Mary?

It doesn't surprise me when orthodox Christians bow for icons of the Virgin Mary, since they believe that she is present in the icon. But why do (some) Catholics also bow for icons of Mary? There are ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can you give air-kisses to icons in the Eastern Orthodox church instead of physical kisses?

Can you give air-kisses to icons in the Eastern Orthodox church instead of physical kisses? I was reading this website, which teaches church etiquette to church-going Christians. The website seems to ...
Double U's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
499 views

Do Christians still make icons?

Do Christians still make icons? Typically, it's easy to find Christian icons from the Middle Ages. But are there any Christian icons in the modern age?
Double U's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
124 views

What is the difference of icon veneration between various Christian confessions?

What is the difference of icon veneration between various Christian confessions? It will be interesting to hear view of point from representative of each confession, and finally create comparative ...
Andremoniy's user avatar
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19 votes
3 answers
16k views

What is the difference between icons and idols in churches that permit icons?

There are a number of Protestants that say the use of the images and statues in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church is idolatry. I know that these churches call certain images "icons", but I ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
176 views

Is this true that before the Quinisext Council it was not allowed to draw Jesus on icons in the form of a man?

Is this true that only at the Quinisext Council it was allowed to draw Jesus on icons as a man, and that before that time Jesus was only depicted on icons as a fish or a lamb? I've looked up the ...
brilliant's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
558 views

How did Calvin view the use of religious icons to facilitate worship of God?

Recently I was told in a chat room on this site that the use of icons in the church 'wasn't offensive to anyone'!? I was so amazed that anyone would ever say such a thing, but since I have never had ...
Mike's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the earliest record of using icons to worship God in the Catholic or Orthodox traditions?

The question is as simple as the title. I am simply wondering, ‘When is the earliest recorded date of this tradition?’
Mike's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
5k views

Did the Jews use icons and images to help them worship as Catholics or Orthodox worshippers do?

I understand that some worshippers use icons to 'lift up their minds from earthly things to the heavenly things'? I am not interested about those using them as stage-props for a play (in comparison), ...
Mike's user avatar
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