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Heterodox images

NicholasMyra

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LBK said:
And Liza's point on the writings of the iconophile saints and the liturgical deposit only speak of icons as venerable, not statues.
St. John of Damascus speaks about statues.
 

LBK

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NicholasMyra said:
LBK said:
And Liza's point on the writings of the iconophile saints and the liturgical deposit only speak of icons as venerable, not statues.
St. John of Damascus speaks about statues.
Indeed he does. Either as "lifeless idols", or in reference to secular art. Moreover, whatever he writes on icons clearly point to paintings on wood, not sculptures. St John is known for his clarity and precision of expression.
 

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"God charged David to build Him a temple through his son, and to prepare a place of rest. Solomon, in building the temple, made cherubim, as the book of Kings says. And he encompassed the cherubim with gold, and all the walls in a circle, and he had the cherubim carved, and palms inside and out, in a circle, not from the sides, be it observed. And there were bulls and lions and pomegranates. Is it not more seemly to decorate all the walls of the Lord's house with holy forms and images rather than with beasts and plants? Where is the law declaring "thou shalt not make any graven image"? But Solomon receiving the gift of wisdom, imaging, heaven, made the cherubim, and the likenesses of bulls and lions, which the law forbade. Now if we make a statue of Christ, and the likenesses of the saints, does not their being filled with the Holy Ghost increase the piety of our homage?" - St. John of Damascus, Defense Against Those Who Decry Holy Images, 1

In this work St. John repeatedly speaks of statues and other three dimensional things (the ark of the covenant, the rod of moses, the tablets of the law, the cross of Christ, etc.) as 'images' worthy of veneration.
 

LBK

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Volnutt said:
LBK said:
Minnesotan said:
I've seen the 2D-3D interpretation of that passage expressed by some Orthodox before, although it's somewhat unsatisfying (why didn't the OT Jews make 2D icons? And what about the 3D cherubim on the ark)?
The artwork in the Temple as decreed by God's instructions were for bas-reliefs, not fully three-dimensional statues. The cherubim were made of "hammered gold", i.e. embossed. This has been discussed in other threads on statues vs icons.
Do you consider these to be statues?









Why or why not?
Somehow I doubt these were made with veneration in mind.  ::)
 

Volnutt

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LBK said:
Volnutt said:
LBK said:
Minnesotan said:
I've seen the 2D-3D interpretation of that passage expressed by some Orthodox before, although it's somewhat unsatisfying (why didn't the OT Jews make 2D icons? And what about the 3D cherubim on the ark)?
The artwork in the Temple as decreed by God's instructions were for bas-reliefs, not fully three-dimensional statues. The cherubim were made of "hammered gold", i.e. embossed. This has been discussed in other threads on statues vs icons.
Do you consider these to be statues?









Why or why not?
Somehow I doubt these were made with veneration in mind.  ::)
Not the point. If the (as you claim) embossed cherubim sticking up out of the Mercy Seat are not statues, then neither are these. I'm pretty sure those cherubim still cast shadows, for example.
 

NicholasMyra

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LBK said:
NicholasMyra said:
LBK said:
And Liza's point on the writings of the iconophile saints and the liturgical deposit only speak of icons as venerable, not statues.
St. John of Damascus speaks about statues.
Indeed he does. Either as "lifeless idols", or in reference to secular art. Moreover, whatever he writes on icons clearly point to paintings on wood, not sculptures. St John is known for his clarity and precision of expression.
See my previous post about him.
 

PeterTheAleut

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LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Your point?
Well, I don't suppose an Orthodox bishop chose to celebrate a Divine Liturgy under the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer merely for the shade the statue provides against the summer sun. ;)
 

LBK

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NicholasMyra said:
LBK said:
NicholasMyra said:
LBK said:
And Liza's point on the writings of the iconophile saints and the liturgical deposit only speak of icons as venerable, not statues.
St. John of Damascus speaks about statues.
Indeed he does. Either as "lifeless idols", or in reference to secular art. Moreover, whatever he writes on icons clearly point to paintings on wood, not sculptures. St John is known for his clarity and precision of expression.
See my previous post about him.
Are you referring to the account of the statue associated with the woman with the issue of blood? This is the exception that proves the rule. If statues were indeed regarded as venerable on a par with icons, the Church would have allowed and promoted their commissioning and veneration from the beginning. Yet history, physical evidence, and Orthodox tradition show otherwise.

There are many ancient icons which have survived iconoclasm, but only a statue here and a statue there, with no clear proof that they were actually venerated rather than simply decorative. The liturgical deposit also speaks, both in the service texts for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and in the number of wonder-working icons which are liturgically commemorated, even if the original icon has been lost, and only copies survive.

If there were an organic, continuous and verifiable Orthodox tradition of the making and veneration of statues, there would be such ascribed to them as well. Yet there are not. We must be content with this, rather than attempt to reconstruct a practice which was never an intrinsic part of devotion and worship.
 

LBK

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PeterTheAleut said:
LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Your point?
Well, I don't suppose an Orthodox bishop chose to celebrate a Divine Liturgy under the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer merely for the shade the statue provides against the summer sun. ;)
Are you Mor Ephrem? No?
 

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This thread has me curious and asking these sorts of questions:

Was there painted art from the Byzantine period that used perspective and was realistic?
If painted realistic portraits were capable of being produced would they have been considered taboo/profane?
Was there a sacred/profane distinction in art during the Byzantine period?
 

LBK

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Hinterlander said:
Was there painted art from the Byzantine period that used perspective and was realistic?
If painted realistic portraits were capable of being produced would they have been considered taboo/profane?
Was there a sacred/profane distinction in art during the Byzantine period?
It is a common misconception that iconographers  “couldn’t draw or paint”, that this was a primitive or naïve art form. The early Christians of the Greco-Roman world were the descendants of the Greeks and Romans who gave the world the physical perfection of Classical sculpture and murals. The sculptures of Praxiteles and Pheidias, or the frescoes and mosaics of Pompeii and other sites, clearly show an excellent grasp by painters and sculptors of geometry and linear perspective in depicting three dimensions on a flat surface as well as in three dimensions.

However, iconography concerns itself with depicting and expressing what is not of this world, and what is spiritually perfected. Therefore the opposite approach to "photographic realism" is employed, and was employed quite early on in the history of iconography. Inverse perspective, an abstracted painterly style, bodily proportions which are not "realistic" to express certain qualities of the saints, etc.
 

Salpy

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I'm kind of surprised at EO's here saying their Church is OK with statues.  I thought that was forbidden by their seventh council. 

Can someone post pictures of the inside of an EO church with statues inside of it? 
 

PeterTheAleut

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PeterTheAleut

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Salpy said:
I'm kind of surprised at EO's here saying their Church is OK with statues.  I thought that was forbidden by their seventh council.
On what basis do you say that? What do the canons of the council say?
 

LBK

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PeterTheAleut said:
LBK said:
PeterTheAleut said:
LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Your point?
Well, I don't suppose an Orthodox bishop chose to celebrate a Divine Liturgy under the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer merely for the shade the statue provides against the summer sun. ;)
Are you Mor Ephrem? No?
Why do you ask?

LBK said:
It's not for you to dictate who posts here.
;)
LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Your point?
To whom am I addressing this question, Peter?
 

PeterTheAleut

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LBK said:
PeterTheAleut said:
LBK said:
PeterTheAleut said:
LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Your point?
Well, I don't suppose an Orthodox bishop chose to celebrate a Divine Liturgy under the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer merely for the shade the statue provides against the summer sun. ;)
Are you Mor Ephrem? No?
Why do you ask?

LBK said:
It's not for you to dictate who posts here.
;)
LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Your point?
To whom am I addressing this question, Peter?
LBK, I am permitted to post here as long as what I post does not violate any forum rules. If you do not like me replying to a question you asked of someone else, you are not obliged to reply to me. I don't believe I'm answering for Mor, but if he thinks I am and asks that I step aside and let him speak for himself, I will gladly do so.
 

Salpy

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PeterTheAleut said:
Salpy said:
I'm kind of surprised at EO's here saying their Church is OK with statues.  I thought that was forbidden by their seventh council.
On what basis do you say that? What do the canons of the council say?
I'm purely going on what I've heard about you guys.  I'm open to being proven wrong.  Is there really no Tradition in your Church against statues?  I've only been in a few EO churches, but I've never seen statues in them.

What do EO statues look like? I've seen lots of Catholic statues, but I've never seen an EO one.  Can someone post pictures? Where are they usually placed in the church? Are they up front by the iconostasis? Maybe someone here can post pictures from their own church.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Salpy said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Salpy said:
I'm kind of surprised at EO's here saying their Church is OK with statues.  I thought that was forbidden by their seventh council.
On what basis do you say that? What do the canons of the council say?
I'm purely going on what I've heard about you guys.  I'm open to being proven wrong.  Is there really no Tradition in your Church against statues?
Outside of some commentary in the Rudder by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain, which has not the same authority as the canons it interprets, there is no canonical rule forbidding statues in Orthodox Churches. The Rudder notwithstanding, there has never been a widespread tradition of endorsing or encouraging the creation and veneration of statues in our churches, either. Whereas we have a rich tradition of painting and venerating 2D icons on wood panels, the EO Church has largely been silent on the subject of statues.

Salpy said:
I've only been in a few EO churches, but I've never seen statues in them.
I've never seen any statues in any EO churches, either.
 

LBK

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PeterTheAleut said:
LBK, I am permitted to post here as long as what I post does not violate any forum rules. If you do not like me replying to a question you asked of someone else, you are not obliged to reply to me. I don't believe I'm answering for Mor, but if he thinks I am and asks that I step aside and let him speak for himself, I will gladly do so.
I clearly asked a direct question to a specific forum member. Common courtesy, at least where I come from, says that person's answer is requested, not someone else's.  :police:
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Salpy said:
What do EO statues look like?
My, this is beautiful. I would have a hard time not saying a prayer before it and kissing the feet. Too bad that wouldn't find its way to St. Nicholas since it's not a flat panel of wood. Bummer.
 

Salpy

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NicholasMyra said:
Salpy said:
What do EO statues look like?
Why isn't it painted?  Catholic statues are painted and they are quite pretty. Is that the difference between Catholic and EO statues? Catholic statues are painted and EO ones are not?

Is that from your church? I notice it's outside. Can you post pictures of the statues inside your church? Are they unpainted also?
 

Iconodule

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Another EO statue (wooden), in Greece:



In Byzantine times there was quite a bit of ivory carving done, including diptychs, triptychs, etc.
 

Iconodule

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Here's a famous 10th century triptych from Constantinople:
 

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That all depends on how you define 'OK with.'

Liturgically, statues have no roll, whereas certain icons do.  The Typicon specifies the censing of the icons of the iconostasis for example, and the order, but the rest of the church is hardly mentioned.  So, you can have all kinds of things elsewhere, from white walls to 100% fresco to something in between.

There are enough ancient examples of relief carving and a few statues to demonstrate that earlier generations of the Church did not have an allergic reaction to all forms of religious 3D art.  However, such examples have no real role in liturgical/formal worship.


Salpy said:
I'm kind of surprised at EO's here saying their Church is OK with statues.  I thought that was forbidden by their seventh council. 

Can someone post pictures of the inside of an EO church with statues inside of it?
 

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I would say while one may not be able to venerate non-Orthodox imagery one can certainly use them as an aid to prayer.  Now for some this may seem like a distinction without a difference but it should be.  The person portrayed in a religious artwork is no more or less present then they are in an icon, we don't believe the person is actually contained within either one.  This is why we don't pray to icons but to the person they represent.  We venerate them because they are holy items and through that veneration we pay respect to that which they represent.
 

Iconodule

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Another lovely ivory carving from 10th century Constantinople:

 

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Do WRO ever have statues in their churches?
 

Iconodule

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Yeah, but they don't count. Only Byzantine culture is Orthodox.
 

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Iconodule said:
Another lovely ivory carving from 10th century Constantinople:

This looks more like a relief than an actual statue...as do some of the ones above.

I have never seen a statue in an EO parish...and I've been to many over the years.

The ONLY thing close to a statue that I have seen, is the body of Christ on a cross...but, even that might be frowned upon.

I have seen statues outside of churches and monasteries...usually angels standing amid flowers, etc.
 

LizaSymonenko

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LBK said:
PeterTheAleut said:
LBK, I am permitted to post here as long as what I post does not violate any forum rules. If you do not like me replying to a question you asked of someone else, you are not obliged to reply to me. I don't believe I'm answering for Mor, but if he thinks I am and asks that I step aside and let him speak for himself, I will gladly do so.
I clearly asked a direct question to a specific forum member. Common courtesy, at least where I come from, says that person's answer is requested, not someone else's.  :police:
While I understand you wish to get Mor's input, everyone actually has the opportunity to comment in a Discussion Forum, and it is not proper to try and silence anyone. 

If you don't like someone's reply, please just ignore it, and move on. 

 

Mor Ephrem

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LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Your point?
I wasn't making a point, per se, just reproducing a recent photo of the primate of the world's largest Orthodox Church celebrating a liturgical service in front of a huge statue of Christ. 
 

Iconodule

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LizaSymonenko said:
This looks more like a relief than an actual statue...as do some of the ones above.

I have never seen a statue in an EO parish...and I've been to many over the years.
The arguments given against statues (e.g. they cast shadows) apply equally to reliefs. They are just 3-dimensional as statues. Also, the corpus in the above image is not a relief.

The ONLY thing close to a statue that I have seen, is the body of Christ on a cross...but, even that might be frowned upon.
Frowned upon by whom?
 

Iconodule

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Mor Ephrem said:
LBK said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Your point?
I wasn't making a point, per se, just reproducing a recent photo of the primate of the world's largest Orthodox Church celebrating a liturgical service in front of a huge statue of Christ.
;)
 
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