Strange icons

Regnare

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Asteriktos said:
What is going on in this icon?

Revelation 12:1-4. "A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born."

This is probably done by a Catholic, because I've never heard an Orthodox writer connect the Theotokos to the Woman Clothed With The Sun.
 

LBK

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Regnare said:
Asteriktos said:
What is going on in this icon?

Revelation 12:1-4. "A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born."

This is probably done by a Catholic,
because I've never heard an Orthodox writer connect the Theotokos to the Woman Clothed With The Sun.
It was painted by a Roman Catholic. His name is Fr William Hart McNichols, and he is a Jesuit priest. He is also a protege of the notorious Robert Lentz, a Franciscan friar. Between the two of them, they have produced a great many paintings which resemble icons, but are anything but - many of these do not even conform to Roman Catholic teaching, let alone Orthodox. At best, they are misguided; at their worst, they are blasphemous and heretical.

Unfortunately, the fact that so much of their work is tainted, even that which passes muster should be avoided.

 

LBK

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LizaSymonenko said:
I've never see one like this.  Christ is a teenager/young man.

This is an adaptation of the Holy Trinity icon derived from the icon of the Hospitality of Abraham, but the three angels are replaced by the Mother of God, St Joseph the Betrothed, and the young Christ. The “Holy Family” idea is foreign enough to Orthodox tradition, but its intrusion into the well-established iconography of the Holy Trinity is extremely problematic, to say the least. It presents a very confused conflation of the Holy Trinity and the three persons depicted here.

It is a great shame that such an image, expressing ideas contrary to what the Orthodox Church teaches, was painted by someone who is Orthodox, and who has been painting icons for a generation. This isn't the honest mistake of a novice.
 

LBK

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LizaSymonenko said:
Thanks for the clarification.  That's what I thought, also.
:)

Really, this image belongs in the "Schlock Icons" thread. Yet another example of a work which is skilfully painted, but risks causing spiritual confusion and damage to the unsuspecting.
 

LizaSymonenko

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Yeah...I was going to post it there, but, I couldn't post an icon with Christ and the Theotokos depicted so nicely, in a "Schlock" category.
 

LBK

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LizaSymonenko said:
Yeah...I was going to post it there, but, I couldn't post an icon with Christ and the Theotokos depicted so nicely, in a "Schlock" category.
Ah, there's the rub. The "prettiness" of this image is what makes it so subversive. That's why it deserves to be seen as schlock.
 

Mor Ephrem

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LBK said:
It is a great shame that such an image, expressing ideas contrary to what the Orthodox Church teaches, was painted by someone who is Orthodox, and who has been painting icons for a generation. This isn't the honest mistake of a novice.
If it was painted by a veteran Orthodox iconographer who should know better, why wouldn't s/he know better and do better?  Or is there more going on here? 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
LBK said:
It is a great shame that such an image, expressing ideas contrary to what the Orthodox Church teaches, was painted by someone who is Orthodox, and who has been painting icons for a generation. This isn't the honest mistake of a novice.
If it was painted by a veteran Orthodox iconographer who should know better, why wouldn't s/he know better and do better?  Or is there more going on here? 
This person is not the only Orthodox painting unsatisfactory images. Most of his work is fine, but the continued presence of this and at least one other of his works in Orthodox bookstores and on his website is cause for concern. If painting these images was indeed an honest mistake, then they should be withdrawn from circulation. If these works were painted for a non-Orthodox patron, then they should be clearly designated as such, and not disseminated as Orthodox icons. There comes a point in an iconographer's life where he must draw the line and decline commissions where the subject matter is contrary to Orthodox teaching, whether the prospective patron is Orthodox or not.

There are plenty of others, including the Andreyevs of the Prosopon School, and Fr Stamatios Skliris, a Greek Orthodox priest. These hold themselves out to be authorities on iconography, yet a good part of their work is unfit for veneration, to put it mildly. The Schlock Icons thread has ample evidence of this.

As to why such "knowledgeable" people continue to paint unsatisfactory images, it doesn't take much thought to come up with reasons why.  :p

 

Dominika

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Last days when I was in Serbia I bought a small paper icon almost identical with this one:


See what (actually, who) is in the place of traditional Cosmos ;)
 

LBK

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Dominika said:
Last days when I was in Serbia I bought a small paper icon almost identical with this one:


See what (actually, who) is in the place of traditional Cosmos ;)
This isn't just strange, it's schlock. Another "creative" tweak to an icon whose form and purpose was established many centuries ago. What a waste of time, effort, paint and leaf.  :p :mad: :mad:
 

Anna.T

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LBK said:
The “Holy Family” idea is foreign enough to Orthodox tradition,
I almost missed this, but may I ask about it?

Why is it that the "Holy Family" idea is not acceptable? Is it only that Christ is older, or are the three pictured with the infant Christ also a problem?

(It occurs to me that St. Joseph is essentially a provider/protector and not a "father" in the true sense - is that the reason?)

I may be sorry I asked. I have a fair number of small depictions that I use as Christmas decorations, but I love them very much. (One is carved from Olive wood supposedly from Israel and features the Holy Family within the Star of Bethlehem - that's my favorite.) And I just unpacked a statuette of the Exodus (Holy Family plus the donkey) that I've had packed for a few years (fearing the cats would break it as I had nowhere safe to put it). I would not like to have to give them all up, but if they are problematic I would like to know?

Thank you.
 

Dominika

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LBK said:
Dominika said:
Last days when I was in Serbia I bought a small paper icon almost identical with this one:


See what (actually, who) is in the place of traditional Cosmos ;)
This isn't just strange, it's schlock. Another "creative" tweak to an icon whose form and purpose was established many centuries ago. What a waste of time, effort, paint and leaf.  :p :mad: :mad:
You can imagine my facet when I looked at this icon longer (I'd bought it because it was only icon that had been missing in my collection of the 12 great feasts, and from distance I'd seen it's Pentecost, and the purpose had been to have just an icon of it, nothing so special or unique) ;) However, I don't consider it so schlock as some presented in another thread. Surely, the symbolism of the original icon is deeper, but this one at least doesn't promote some heretical stuff (at least it seems to me so)
 

DeniseDenise

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Anna.T said:
LBK said:
The “Holy Family” idea is foreign enough to Orthodox tradition,
I almost missed this, but may I ask about it?

Why is it that the "Holy Family" idea is not acceptable? Is it only that Christ is older, or are the three pictured with the infant Christ also a problem?

(It occurs to me that St. Joseph is essentially a provider/protector and not a "father" in the true sense - is that the reason?)

I may be sorry I asked. I have a fair number of small depictions that I use as Christmas decorations, but I love them very much. (One is carved from Olive wood supposedly from Israel and features the Holy Family within the Star of Bethlehem - that's my favorite.) And I just unpacked a statuette of the Exodus (Holy Family plus the donkey) that I've had packed for a few years (fearing the cats would break it as I had nowhere safe to put it). I would not like to have to give them all up, but if they are problematic I would like to know?

Thank you.
This may or may not be 'The Answer'

however....you say they are decorations.  I would say that is just fine, despite the idea that the Holy Family idea is not part of Tradition. Clearly the three people depicted in your decorations WERE in the same places.....logically they were, so depicting a Biblical event is not some no-no.

But venerating these as icons...no.

 

LBK

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Anna.T said:
LBK said:
The “Holy Family” idea is foreign enough to Orthodox tradition,
I almost missed this, but may I ask about it?

Why is it that the "Holy Family" idea is not acceptable? Is it only that Christ is older, or are the three pictured with the infant Christ also a problem?

(It occurs to me that St. Joseph is essentially a provider/protector and not a "father" in the true sense - is that the reason?)

I may be sorry I asked. I have a fair number of small depictions that I use as Christmas decorations, but I love them very much. (One is carved from Olive wood supposedly from Israel and features the Holy Family within the Star of Bethlehem - that's my favorite.) And I just unpacked a statuette of the Exodus (Holy Family plus the donkey) that I've had packed for a few years (fearing the cats would break it as I had nowhere safe to put it). I would not like to have to give them all up, but if they are problematic I would like to know?

Thank you.
Anna, please PM me on this.  :)
 

kelly

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St. Joseph is so underappreciated in Orthodoxy. Makes me sad.
 

Anna.T

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DeniseDenise said:
Anna.T said:
LBK said:
The “Holy Family” idea is foreign enough to Orthodox tradition,
I almost missed this, but may I ask about it?

Why is it that the "Holy Family" idea is not acceptable? Is it only that Christ is older, or are the three pictured with the infant Christ also a problem?

(It occurs to me that St. Joseph is essentially a provider/protector and not a "father" in the true sense - is that the reason?)

I may be sorry I asked. I have a fair number of small depictions that I use as Christmas decorations, but I love them very much. (One is carved from Olive wood supposedly from Israel and features the Holy Family within the Star of Bethlehem - that's my favorite.) And I just unpacked a statuette of the Exodus (Holy Family plus the donkey) that I've had packed for a few years (fearing the cats would break it as I had nowhere safe to put it). I would not like to have to give them all up, but if they are problematic I would like to know?

Thank you.
This may or may not be 'The Answer'

however....you say they are decorations.  I would say that is just fine, despite the idea that the Holy Family idea is not part of Tradition. Clearly the three people depicted in your decorations WERE in the same places.....logically they were, so depicting a Biblical event is not some no-no.

But venerating these as icons...no.
Thanks Denise. :)

Since the whole idea of icons is new to me since Christmas was packed away ... But anyway, I would never "venerate" them. I have a statuette of Christ as a shepherd on my bookshelf too, but yes, the idea of venerating Christian decorations, pretty much rubs hard against the old Protestant mindset. I look at them and think about what they represent sometimes? But I do that with various kinds of art. :)

Thank you for the reply. :)
 
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