четвъртък, 26 юни 2008 г.

Saint Peter from Sinai 6 c

Saint Peter, encaustic icon, St. Catherine Monastery, Sinai, 6th century. Visible, above St. Peter, form left to right : St. Menas, Christ, and the Theotokos.

The Saint is portrayed with large wide-open eyes, short gray hair and short well-groomed beard, holding a cross in the left hand and three keys in the right. The face is painted in the tradition of the encaustic Fayoum portraits of Alexandrian art. The Saint's head is surrounded by a large golden halo. The top fo the icon is occupied by three small medallions. The middle one, with a cross in the background, contains a portrait of Christ and the right one a portrait of the Virgin. The identification of the beardless youth portrayed in the third medallion has posed a problem to scholars. Some believe that he should be identified either with Moses or St. John the Evangelist. The latter is the choice of several scholars because he appears to correspond to the Virgin on the right of the crucified Christ. Besides, the depiction of these particular holy figures in the three medallions may be interpreted as a representation of the Crucifixion, and linked with the obvious symbolism of the cross in St. Peter's hand, which can but allude to the Saint's death on the cross. Various scholars have dated this icon to the 6th or 7th century, though an earlier date in the 5th century cannot be ruled out. It is painted using the encaustic technique (0.52 X 0.39 m)

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

2 Peter 1:16-18


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понеделник, 16 юни 2008 г.

Pantocrator from Sinai 13 c

101.6 x 66.4 cm Egg Tempera on Wood Early 13th Century
Holy Monastery of St. Catherine - Sinai

Here we see Christ as Pantokrator - "Ruler of All" holding a gospel in Imperial purple illumintated in gold. The Gospel reads - "I am the light of the world; the one who follows me would not walk in shadow, but enter the Light of Life". Christ raises his right hand in blessing. His robes are blue and Imperial purple, with the tunic hightlighted in gold. The background is subtle and luminous, in this ikon the halo merges softly with the gilded background.
The face of Christ is well-drawn and the cheeks are brightly colored in red - giving the face an almost sun-burnt appearance. The nose is full and realistic - overall the image of Christ feels alive and full of energy.


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петък, 6 юни 2008 г.

Pantocrator from Hilandar 13 c

This is the famous Pantocrator (the Greek word for “Ruler of All”) icon at Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos painted in 1260-1270. This icon was rendered in egg-tempera and shows the classical Byzantine iconographic influence of some of the best periods of early iconography, often portraying Christ in His Majesty and compassion. It has as well elements and stylization of other similar icons of Christ from the mid-13th century, especially in Macedonia and Serbia.
Icons are always more than just humanistic and naturalistic art, for the human perspective is limited by its own limiting self-awareness that cannot become truly objective from an Eternal point of view. This objectivity is just what a true icon expresses, both the state of creation and who is being depicted at the very end of time, often involving some abstraction or non-naturalistic perspectives. Thus Christ here has a long thin nose, wide set eyes which are open and aware, a pronounced brow, and a look of profound intentional insight into us, making us think about our own interior state now and in Eternity.


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