FC: By Georgie Bridger | Iconography
1: Small Questions | Question 1: What is Iconography? Question 2: How did iconography spread to Russia from the Roman and then Byzantine Empire? Question 3: What materials and tools are used? | Question 4: Why do people paint Icons? Questions 5: What is the difference between Iconography now and Iconography in the past?
2: Big Question | What makes Iconography a unique form of art and so different to other types of art?
3: What is Iconography? | Iconography means 'written image' and comes from the Greek word Eikon . Iconography is also known traditionally as Byzantine art. Iconography is symbolic and religious and is usually in the Orthodox or the Eastern Church, iconography is used as a religious decoration on walls, mosaics, frescoes, book illuminations and embroideries. Icons are usually pictorial representations of bible scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, historical moments in the church and saints. Iconography was produced between AD 330 and 1453 but the origin is not known for certain. The main character in Byzantine art would be ‘Mary Mother of God’ or the repeated image of Mary and Jesus. These religious paintings were covered in pure gold, to indicate that the events were not taken place in the real world but in Gods kingdom.
4: Big Question | What makes Iconography so unique and different to other types of art?
6: What is the difference between Iconography now and Iconography in the past? | P | PAST: Iconography in the past had been very popular where icons were painted on the resting places of the dead (catacombs). When Iconography became popular it was called the 'Golden Ages', Some remarkable painters to paint Icons were Cenni De Peppi, Gotto, Duccio and Pietro Cavallini. | PRESENT: Iconography is not as popular it is just usually small groups of people over the world painting Icons as their hobby. There are some groups that spend their whole day from 9:00am - 4:00pm learning everything they need to know about painting Icons. Roman catacombs* have some of the best preserved examples of Christian art from back around AD 330. A few years ago a lot more people got interested in Icons and tried to smuggle or take them out of Rome and Russia, because the Icon was so precious to Rome and Russia and they treasured this art they made it illegal to take icons out of these countries.
7: What materials and tools are used in Iconography? | In Iconography you do not use the usual acrylic, watercolor, canvas or paper. You paint your icon on a wooden board that is usually a soft wood, such as European ash, you have to coat the board with a white plaster mix that is made with white chalk dust and rabbit skin glue it is also known as gesso. It will require 15 to 20 coats of gesso and you must allow each coat to dry before applying the next one. To make the paints you mix powdery pigments with egg yolk, water, and a little bit of wine or vinegar as a preservative, these paints are then called the tempura. The painting itself is done with very fine brushes; these brushes are usually made from horse's hair. When painting you usually start with the darkest colours and then the lighter ones, this gives the appearance of depth in your Icon. The background of an Icon is usually painted by applying pure gold leaf with a very light glue or garlic juice. To make the board and then paint the icon will take around 60 to 100 hours of work.
8: Why do People paint Icons? | People usually paint Icons because...... 1. Their ambition is to paint them and enjoy doing so. 2. They have a strong christian belief and feel that if they paint Icons they will be closer to God. | 3. Iconography is a hobby of theirs and they are very creative and Icons are a good way to express feelings. 4. They paint icons because they are beautiful, they help them to understand their religion, and is a wonderful form of meditation.
9: What is the difference between Iconography now and Iconography in the past? | The difference between iconography now to iconography in the past is there are not as many places to see this art or many Iconographers to paint them. Iconography is not popular but to Iconographers it doesn't need to be well known for them to enjoy it. | To me Iconography today is not a famous or popular type art but a quiet and peaceful kind. It is not the sort of art that you see often in art galleries but spotted in the odd school and church.
10: Thank You
11: Bibliography | en.wikipedia.org - 22.10.10 www2.cytanet.com.cy - 22.10.10 www.mixbook.com - 22.10.10 wiki.answers.com - 22.10.10 www.crystalinks.com - 23.10.10 | Essential History of Art - !10.11.10 Art and Artists Renaissance Art - 10.11.10 A History of Italian Renaissance Art - 13.11.10
12: At Kiev, now capital of the Ukraine but in the tenth century part of greater Russia, a fierce battle was fought against the Tartars who had occupied and oppressed this area since the time of Mongol invasion. At this battle, a priest from Constantinople held up an Icon of Mary Mother of God at the battlefront. The Russians won and attributed their victory to the icon. At that time most of them were not Christians, but the king of Kiev ordered them to change to Christianity because of the power of the icon. They then followed the Orthodox Christianity of the Byzantine Empire. | How did iconography spread to Russia from the Roman and then Byzantine Empire?
13: What makes Iconography so unique and different to other types of art? | Iconography is a unique form of art in the way that it depicts various characters from Christianity. There are many different ways to show this art other than paint on canvas. It's different in the way that it has a purpose, to show people what Jesus was like and the events that happened in his life. It is painted with different materials and tools such as wood and tempura. Some countries treasure this art because of their religion and because when they paint it they feel calm and peaceful. I think Iconography is unique because it is so different to other arts it is precise but peaceful and each picture shows us one of the events in Jesus' life.
14: What Make Iconography so unique and different to other types of art? | Iconography is also different in the way that it has reasons why it uses gold paint. It's a quiet art but enjoyed by many each painting tells a story and that is what makes it so unique and different.
15: Big Question