6 Comments

  1. Thank you ! Beautiful and helpful reflections. Makes me want to explore Chinese brush painting as well as to grow in iconography.

  2. Thank you, Gary. Although the Chinese hold their brush rather differently than most iconographers (that is, vertically), the spirit of concentration and freedom required for their calligraphy must surely help the iconographer. Good luck!

  3. Articulating the proper relationships between tradition and originality, study and mastery, cannon and innovation, was one of the principal reasons for starting the Orthodox Arts Journal. It’s pleasing to see these relationships expressed so beautifully in Chinese tradition. And I think it’s very valuable for us Orthodox artists to be reminded that our struggles are not different from those of other artists. Artistic tradition – both maintaining and transcending it – is a universal quality of human civilization, not a unique circumstance of the Orthodox Church.

    Orthodox iconography has its own stylistic qualities and its own liturgical purpose, but it is still art like any other – the fruit of hard work, humility, and courage.

  4. John Lickwar

    This search really gives sense to true iconographers being true hagiographers. I appreciate especially the comment, ‘simplicity is complexity resolved.’ Another minor point of interest was the difference in holding the brush, as though not a tool in the hand but an extension or limb of the hand, a part of the body. Thirdly, this idea of revealing the logos of the human being through line and color is discussed in more detail as a principle beginning within Byzantine Iconography, according to George Kordis. See his book, Icon As Communion, published by Holy Cross Press, Brookline, Massachusetts.

  5. […] Hart delves into the curious world of orthodox iconography: “Icons are deceptively simple. At first encounter […]

  6. […] By AIDAN HART and originally posted here. […]

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