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Byzantine religious icons

Icon of Jesus ChristAn icon (from Greek eikōn, "image") is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from the Eastern Orthodox Church. In Eastern Christianity and other icon-painting Christian traditions, the icon is generally a flat panel painting depicting a holy being or object such as our Lord Jesus Christ, the most Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary), patron Saints, Holy Angels, or the Holy Cross.

Iconography refers to the making and liturgical use of icons, pictorial representations of Biblical scenes from the life of the Saviour, historical events in the life of the Church, and portraits of the Saints. Icons are usually two-dimensional images and may be made of paint, mosaic, embroidery, weaving, carving, engraving, or other methods.

Images have always been a vital part of the Church, but their place was the subject of the Iconoclast Controversy in the 8th and 9th centuries, especially in the East. The Sunday of Orthodoxy, the first Sunday of the Great Fast (Lent) every year celebrates the reestablishment of the Orthodox veneration of icons. The use of iconography is considered one of the most distinctive elements of the Byzantine rite.

Types of icons:

 

Diptychs

Diptych icon. Enlarge in blank windowThe word diptychs comes from Greek meaning "folding boards." It is two boards connected with a hinge. The word is used in the Church today to describe a type of icon or two kinds of lists. A diptych is a type of icon whereby two panels are joined together with a hinge, so that they may fold together for protection when traveling, and then be unfolded for veneration when one's destination has been reached. Such diptychs are also called "traveling icons". Most often, the images on the two panels will be Christ and the Theotokos.
 

Triptych

Triptych icon. Enlarge in blank windowIs a type of icons which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together and folded. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works; the diptych has two panels. The middle panel is the larger one and is flanked by two smaller, but related, works. While the root of the word is the ancient Greek "triptychos", the word arose into the medieval period from the name for an Ancient Roman writing tablet, which had two hinged panels flanking a central one.
 

Iconostasion icons

An iconostasis (also iconostas or icon screen) is a screen or wall which serves as a stable support for icons and marks the boundary between the nave and the altar or sanctuary. The term can also refer to a folding, portable set of icons. There has been historically and continues to be a vast range of styles for iconostases: Some are simply two icons of the Theotokos and the Lord; the most complex, cathedral icon screens have multiple tiers with many icons per tier. The iconostasis is perhaps the most distintive feature of Byzantine rite churches.

Iconostasion icons. Enlarge in blank window

Our selection of traditional Orthodox religious icons in the ancient Russian-Byzantine Greek style is one of the most comprehensive icon collections in the Internet.

We also accept orders for custom hand-made Byzantine-Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox religious icons which are carefully accomplished by expert Russian hagiographers according to the century-old Orthodox traditions (we use only natural mineral colors, egg tempera, natural lacquer, 14K gold leaves, special timber frames, etc.).

Istok offers one of the largest on-line selection of traditional byzantine icons,Greek icons,Orthodox icons at great prices.

 

 

Orthodox icons of Christ (58)


Orthodox icons of Theotokos (199)


Orthodox icons of Holy Angels (29)


Orthodox icons of Patron Saints (490)


Orthodox Festal icons (22)


Other Byzantine religious icons (18)


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