the intellect had been
sufficient, it would
sufficed for the
Word to come among
us intellectually only"
|The purpose of
Icons Explained is
to share with the visitor the beauty and deeper meaning of Byzantine Icons,
where 'Byzantine Icons' are understood to be Religious Icons handpainted in the
Traditional Eastern Orthodox Style.
the site provides an overview of Byzantine Icons in general, and of the many
Byzantine Icon Resources available on the Internet in particular. All material
and references is classified into six groups. These constitute the
*six (6) chapters of this website as follows:
Byzantine Icons - by country of origin
Byzantine Icons - by iconographer / studio
Byzantine Icons by
References - by category
Byzantine icons can be considered an integral part of the
Orthodox Faith, though it took a 100-year long conflict, the Iconoclasm
(726-843), to establish this once and for all. The Iconoclasm
(c) put in doubt the
Incarnation of Christ, the very foundation of the Christian Faith and of the
Icon. In our times, the Orthodox Church still celebrates the historic victory
of Orthodoxy (11 March 843) the first Sunday of Lent.
Clearly also, byzantine icons are intimately linked
of the Holy Virgin Mary by the Orthodox Church. Click the icon of the Mother of
God Platytera to the left to learn more about this. This veneration is further
illustrated in the following paragraph, taken from an article by Monachina
Maria Skobtsova titled
of the Mother of God".
« The largest
number of venerable icons -- are likewise icons of the Mother of God. There is
not a single church service, in which Her name is not mentioned nor in which
the Church fails to beseech Her for the salvation of the faithful. And finally,
beyond the purely church matters of life, the whole of ancient Russian writing
was pervaded by thought about the Virgin Mary. The Russian people ultimately
adopted Her as their own, vitally, into their lifestyle. The everyday mentality
is profuse with thought about Her. »
It is useful to pause for a
moment and have a closer look at what is meant with 'icon'
or 'byzantine icon' in the Orthodox Church. Click here to read about the Eastern Orthodox Icon painted
(written) in the Traditional style.
If you have never looked at
icons before, it is a good idea to read about
Feature of Icons and about
Click the following link to see a selection of
Icons in Russia, the Balkans, Crete (Greece), Cyprus... Visit churches,
monasteries and museums with ancient icons, frescoes and mosaics. And find out
who the Icon
Painting Masters were that created these magnificent works.
Icon painting is not just something of the past,
however. It is very much alive today all over the world, from Russia to the
Americas, from Sweden to Australia. Contemporary icons can just be as beautiful
and significant as their ancient counterparts. Click the icon of the Theotokos
with Christ Child shown to the left, for example. Then click this link for a
great selection of Contemporary Byzantine
are proposed to aid understanding the sacred visual icon art and help place it
in the proper historical and religious context. Selected subjects include:
History & Geography ; Icon History, Art & Architecture ; Eastern
Orthodoxy ; Eastern Rite Churches ; Roman Catholic Sites...
Not to forget, a description is included of the
It is the altar screen, richly decorated with icons, which, in an Orthodox
church, separates the Sanctuary where the Eucharist is celebrated from the part
(nave) reserved for the believers.
And, of course, there are Galleries
and Indexes, all of which are easily accessed from the
Gallery Center ; this is part of the chapter
Byzantine Icons by
Subject which, as previously*
mentioned, is one of the six (6) chapters*
of this site.
Here is a list of galleries and indexes:
Galleries of images classified into six
Types ; with frames / without frames
- A sortable
an index wherein the images can be ordered by number, name, type and country of
- A Scrolling Gallery:
large icon images scroll across the screen with beautiful choral chant in the
background; relax and enjoy
- A sortable
an index of over 200 websites that can be ordered by number, name, mosaics
& frescoes, country of origin and author.
When, in addition to this
Summary, you have a look at the
you will know where to go when you are looking for specifics. If you still
can't find what you are looking for, you may try
or you can try this.
Summing it up,
is a comprehensive resource on Ancient, Medieval and Contemporary Byzantine
Icons, Frescoes and Mosaics with a wealth of information and images to aid
better understanding them. May
shows the Way be your Guide.
Thank you for stopping by, and enjoy
your visit !
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suggestions you may have are welcome, particularly about ways to improve Site
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e-mail me directly. Thank
© 2002-2006 PW de Ruyter Updated: 15 February