Now is the time to portray beauty in actions and in art, not in words. For as the world descends increasingly and unfailingly into darkness and despair, it is beauty, not words, that is going to give hope to humankind and light up the path to Him Who is Beauty, Hope and Light; thus saving and restoring our dying world to the fullness of grace.
On the Western side of the Church, Benedict XVI (2000, The Spirit of the Liturgy) has emphasized five fundamental principles regarding both the need and the function of images in the universal Church, particularly holy icons. These principles are that:
- Icons are, “Images of beauty, in which the mystery of the invisible God becomes visible, are an essential part of Christian worship” (p. 131);
- “Sacred art finds its subjects . . . beginning with creation and continuing all the way from the first day to the eighth day” (p. 132);
- “Images point to a presence, they are essentially connected with what happens in the liturgy” (p. 132);
- “Their whole point [of images] is to lead us beyond what can be apprehended at the merely material level, to awaken new senses in us, and to teach us a new kind of seeing, which perceived the Invisible in the visible . . . It comes from an interior vision and thus leads us to such an interior vision. It must be a fruit of contemplation . . . a prayer and seeing undertaken in communion with the seeing faith of the Church. The ecclesial dimension is essential . . . [providing] an essential connection with the history of the faith, with Scripture and Tradition” (p. 133);
- “The Church in the West . . . must achieve a real reception of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, Nicaea II, which affirmed the fundamental importance and theological status of the image in the Church. The Western Church does not need to subject herself to all the individual norms concerning images that were developed at the councils and synods of the East . . . There must, of course, be no rigid norms. Freshly received intuitions and the ever-new experiences of piety must find a place in the Church . . . [Furthermore] art cannot be “produced” . . . it is always a gift . . . it has to be received, otherwise it is not there (pp. 134-135).
Source: The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father: Apologia and Canon – Chapter 3 – Critical Review
As previously shown, icons of God the Father were originally depicted based on the prophetic theophanies of Daniel (7:9-15), Ezekiel (1:26-28, 8:1-5), Isaiah (6:1-5), and Moses (Ex 24:9-11, Nb 12:6-8). Such icons were both symbolic as well as Biblical and traditional, according to (St) Pavel Florensky’s (1996) typology of icons. God the Father was also commonly depicted according to Continue reading “For those who consider icons of God the Father verboten”
Above is the panel icon of the Woman Clothed With the Sun (Rv 12:1) which I have just finished. Dimensions: 26cm x 26cm. Natural pigments with egg tempera and 23.5kt gold leaf on linen-covered wood with traditional gesso. After it dries, it will be varnished with olifa then taken to the church to be blessed. This icon is going to be in the possession of an interfaith family in Malta (EU).
And before anyone starts yelling that such an icon is heretical, such icons are allowed in the Catholic Church. Moreover, neither does the Orthodox Church forbid them, although many think they do.
If you have any questions about this, or an issue with the ‘issue’ itself, read more about it here.
Iconography of the Theotokos has a private significance for each human being because it symbolizes his materiality, physicality, and the relation of this matter to the spirit within the person. Through icons of the Theotokos we can observe sublimation and exhalation of this relationship between matter and spirit. In the pagan world, the conflict of this dualism was the most important problem. Through icons we can see that this relationship should manifest like the relationship between mother and son, so that the perfection of the human being is fulfilled – Vladislav Andrejev.