Strange icons

mabsoota

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in coptic tradition, we have many old icons of the 'flight to egypt' with saint mary, saint joseph and our Lord Jesus.
for example here:
http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/coptic-artwork-picture.html

is this ok from the EO iconography point of view?
 

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kelly said:
St. Joseph is so underappreciated in Orthodoxy. Makes me sad.
Good point, Kelly. He's very meaningful to me, as an older man with a rather-unexpected family, and I often ask him to pray for me.
 

kelly

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Porter ODoran said:
kelly said:
St. Joseph is so underappreciated in Orthodoxy. Makes me sad.
Good point, Kelly. He's very meaningful to me, as an older man with a rather-unexpected family, and I often ask him to pray for me.
He was stepfather to God Incarnate - that's a huge deal.
 

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And his response to the high calling was one of great patience and self-sacrifice unusual among family men. Something exemplary, that should be often put before us (I edited to add).
 

LBK

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mabsoota said:
in coptic tradition, we have many old icons of the 'flight to egypt' with saint mary, saint joseph and our Lord Jesus.
for example here:
http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/coptic-artwork-picture.html

is this ok from the EO iconography point of view?
Nothing wrong with it at all. A lovely icon, Mabsoota!
 

LBK

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hecma925 said:

This one, no.


This one's good.
Precisely.  :)

For those who feel St Joseph is given short shrift by the Orthodox, this is not the case. He is present in icons of the Nativity and the Meeting of the Lord, which are present in every Orthodox church in the world. Many churches also feature the Flight into Egypt, and the first Sunday after the Nativity is dedicated to him, along with King David and St James the Brother of the Lord.

The highly visible western veneration of St Joseph dates only to about the 16th century, through the efforts of St Theresa of Avila.
 

kelly

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I guess I just don't get why there can't be icons of St. Joseph as an individual as opposed to being  a tiny character in two festal icons. Sts. Joachim and Anna get more attention than poor St. Joseph and we know a lot more about Joseph than we do about them.
 

FatherHLL

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mabsoota said:
in coptic tradition, we have many old icons of the 'flight to egypt' with saint mary, saint joseph and our Lord Jesus.
for example here:
http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/coptic-artwork-picture.html

is this ok from the EO iconography point of view?
Of course!
 

LBK

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kelly said:
I guess I just don't get why there can't be icons of St. Joseph as an individual as opposed to being  a tiny character in two festal icons. Sts. Joachim and Anna get more attention than poor St. Joseph and we know a lot more about Joseph than we do about them.
There are indeed proper, canonical icons of St Joseph. He may be holding a scroll bearing the incarnational prophecy of of Isaiah 7:14, and/or a pair of turtle-doves (the sacrificial offering he brought to the Temple 40 days after Christ's birth), and/or a staff which has sprouted, reflecting the means by which he was chosen to be the betrothed of young Virgin.

What he should not be doing is holding the Christ-child, in the manner of icons of the Mother of God. This is a major theological and iconographic error.

Yet again, I offer to email to anyone who is interested an article on the iconography of St Joseph, from the liturgical, historical and doctrinal tradition of the Church.  :)
 

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Yes I would like to see that LBK! My e-mail address is in my profile. I also want to get one of the icons you describe.
 

LBK

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Oh, yes indeed.

The second one is by the Jesuit priest and Robert Lentz protégé , William Hart McNichols.

Ugh.  :p :p
 

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hecma925 said:
A good one


A bad one
Wow, I don't know much and that makes a VERY distinct comparison for me! On a number of points!

I have to wonder WHY someone would paint something like the second one? (Just a rhetorical - not actual - question.)
 

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The thrust of the two could not be more different. In the first, he's a patient servant standing to the side of events, spending his old age in self-sacrifice. In the second, he usurps all the rights and beauties of the Theotokos.
 

LBK

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I have to wonder WHY someone would paint something like the second one? (Just a rhetorical - not actual - question.)
In the case of this particular artist and his mentor, it is pride that he knows better than iconographic tradition, not because of honest ignorance.  :p
 

LBK

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genesisone said:
Porter ODoran said:
In the second, he usurps all the rights and beauties of the Theotokos.
Even worse, I'm seeing shades of father, son, and holy spirit. (lack of capitalization intended)
Quite right. The artist has appropriated an existing uncanonical composition, known as Otechestvo (Paternity), and further compounded the heresy:



 

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genesisone said:
Porter ODoran said:
In the second, he usurps all the rights and beauties of the Theotokos.
Even worse, I'm seeing shades of father, son, and holy spirit. (lack of capitalization intended)
Wow I did not catch that. A natural step to take if you doubt Christ's birth of a virgin, however.
 

Anna.T

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LBK said:
genesisone said:
Porter ODoran said:
In the second, he usurps all the rights and beauties of the Theotokos.
Even worse, I'm seeing shades of father, son, and holy spirit. (lack of capitalization intended)
Quite right. The artist has appropriated an existing uncanonical composition, known as Otechestvo (Paternity), and further compounded the heresy:

Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.

Who is the figure in the lower right of the Otechestvo? I feel like I shouldn't even be asking, but I would like to know?
 

Anna.T

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Mor Ephrem said:
Anna.T said:
Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.
Why do you find it disturbing, Anna?  
Well, I am absolutely NO expert. I've only studied a limited number of icons. But ...

1. The biggest thing, by far, for me, is the positioning of "Joseph". I've never seen an icon of anyone but the Theotokos in this position with Christ, and it's so obviously similar. It just seems highly inappropriate.

2. The age of Joseph is far off. He appears to be a relatively young man, in contrast to all the teaching we have about him. It would undermine much other teaching about the Theotokos, and make her ever-virginity seem suspect, at best.

3. A minor point, but the resemblance between the two figures. The Joseph looks more like Christ - than Christ does. Somehow this seems to imply, on an unconscious level, that Joseph would be Jesus' biological father.

4. The dove - as mentioned - the whole Father-Son-dove iconography puts me in mind of the Trinity, and icons depicting the Trinity in this way are considered not canonical? Further, even if they were, putting Joseph in the position of God the Father is ... A problem, IMO.

Those are my main problems with it. But it's difficult for me to find something praiseworthy in it, in the face of all the issues it feels like it stirs in me.

Forgive me, I can be off in something. I'm just learning all this. And I hope nothing I've said is inadvertently offensive to anyone. But what I've gotten from Orthodoxy so far, makes me think of these issues.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Anna.T said:
Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.
Why do you find it disturbing, Anna?  
Ohhhh! You meant the Otechestvo? I'm sorry, it does sound like that's what I was disturbed by.

No, I'm sorry, I was relating the Otechestvo to the Joseph and Jesus icon, and upset about the Joseph one. My apologies. I have not looked closely at the Otechestvo. All I know is those types I have been told are not strictly canonical, as it is not permitted to portray The Father. And I wondered who the people are. I don't have much to comment on that one though. Sorry for the misunderstanding. :)
 

Mor Ephrem

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Anna.T said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Anna.T said:
Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.
Why do you find it disturbing, Anna?  
Ohhhh! You meant the Otechestvo? I'm sorry, it does sound like that's what I was disturbed by.

No, I'm sorry, I was relating the Otechestvo to the Joseph and Jesus icon, and upset about the Joseph one. My apologies. I have not looked closely at the Otechestvo. All I know is those types I have been told are not strictly canonical, as it is not permitted to portray The Father. And I wondered who the people are. I don't have much to comment on that one though. Sorry for the misunderstanding. :)
No worries.  Yes, I had in mind the Otechestvo, not the various St Joseph icons.  I saw an opportunity: I wanted to see what someone "relatively unfamiliar" with Orthodoxy thought when seeing such images.  I wanted to know your unfiltered, original thoughts, as opposed to thoughts based on what you might have learned, what you might have been told/taught to believe or think about such images, etc.  
 

WPM

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You're taking icons and calling them "strange" ...
 

Anna.T

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Mor Ephrem said:
Anna.T said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Anna.T said:
Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.
Why do you find it disturbing, Anna?  
Ohhhh! You meant the Otechestvo? I'm sorry, it does sound like that's what I was disturbed by.

No, I'm sorry, I was relating the Otechestvo to the Joseph and Jesus icon, and upset about the Joseph one. My apologies. I have not looked closely at the Otechestvo. All I know is those types I have been told are not strictly canonical, as it is not permitted to portray The Father. And I wondered who the people are. I don't have much to comment on that one though. Sorry for the misunderstanding. :)
No worries.  Yes, I had in mind the Otechestvo, not the various St Joseph icons.  I saw an opportunity: I wanted to see what someone "relatively unfamiliar" with Orthodoxy thought when seeing such images.  I wanted to know your unfiltered, original thoughts, as opposed to thoughts based on what you might have learned, what you might have been told/taught to believe or think about such images, etc.  
Oh, I have a handful of questions. Generally reserving judgement until I know more.

I will say this - a very quick glance makes me think it teaches something like - "The Father produced the Son, and from the Son came the Holy Spirit". I see a problem, maybe subliminally, with "rank" here as well. That's my quick impression, and unvarnished and untaught, lol.
 

Nephi

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We should have an icon of St. Joseph teaching Jesus how to pee while standing, to demonstrate Christ's full humanity in an area he couldn't quite learn from Mary. :angel:
 

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I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Nephi said:
We should have an icon of St. Joseph teaching Jesus how to pee while standing, to demonstrate Christ's full humanity in an area he couldn't quite learn from Mary. :angel:
Who says he urinated?  The Gospels say nothing of this.
 

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Nephi said:
We should have an icon of St. Joseph teaching Jesus how to pee while standing, to demonstrate Christ's full humanity in an area he couldn't quite learn from Mary. :angel:
There's something strangely profound in this strangely shallow suggestion.
 

Nephi

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Antonis said:
I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.
It could also teach proper theology insofar as Christ still sent the Holy Spirit, and/or the fact that the Spirit eternally rests in and upon the Son. Etc.
 

WPM

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Mor Ephrem said:
Anna.T said:
Wow.  I had not seen the Otechestvo, but yes that is disturbing on SO many levels.
Why do you find it disturbing, Anna? 
I get a "little disturbance" in my mind over religious imagery.
 

Anna.T

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I'm also looking at the red winged wheels near the footstool, and reminded about enemies being made into His footstool, but the only winged wheel I can recall was seen by Elijah, right?

The Father holds a scroll, but Christ doesn't. One of the men in the towers does. And I don't know why the towers, who those men are, and who the one on the ground is. That just makes me wonder. That's all I've got.


But our Creed says the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. I just started looking into what that actually means, because apparently I had always misunderstood "proceed" in the Creed.
 

Antonis

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Nephi said:
Antonis said:
I really like the otechestvo, even though I can see how one could learn bad theology from it.
It could also teach proper theology insofar as Christ still sent the Holy Spirit, and/or the fact that the Spirit eternally rests in and upon the Son. Etc.
I had considered that part of it, though I think some might object and say the icon displays some kind of "ranking" of the Trinity. This same objection could not be made in icons of the Trinity where they are shown equally enthroned, however.

Regardless, I definitely like the otechestvo.
 

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Ezekiel, I think you mean, but he was not the only one. At any rate, the wheels drive the throne of God.
 
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