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Andrei Rublev's icon of the Trinity is a prototype of an icon depiction that has been copied many times over. The artistic treatment of the doctrine of the Trinity exemplifies theological dogmatics and the use of formulas of a reverse perspective in icon art, around 1411
The state icon of Venice, the Nicopeia , reached Venice as spoils of war from the fourth crusade in 1204. Constantinople, 11th century. Today in the Cappella della Madonna Nicopeia in St. Mark's Basilica
Mother of God of Vladimir . The icon of Our Lady Eleusa is a work of imperial workshops from the time of the Komnenen, Constantinople around 1100.

Icons (from ancient Greek εἰκών eikṓn , later īkṓn , "[the] image" or "image"; in contrast to εἴδωλον eídolon , later ídolon , "illusion, dream image" and εἴδος eídos , later ídos , "archetype, shape, type" ) are cult and holy images that are predominantly venerated by Orthodox Christians in the Eastern Churches, especially the Orthodox Churches of the Byzantine Rite , but they were also produced by and for non-Orthodox Christians.

Icon painting developed from the fund and the painting techniques of late antique figurative painting, in which portraits of the dead, emperors and gods were exemplary. It came from the interest of a sacred central authority in the area of ​​the imperial court, whose image policy prevailed throughout the Byzantine Empire. Only over time did she find her own formal language, which for centuries was fundamental for the representation of images of saints in European and other Christian societies. This own icon style, which contains its own aesthetic norm and set it apart from wall frescoes, can only be established in the course of the 6th century at the earliest. The legacy of icon painting marks the beginning of European panel painting; it was also the only one for over 1000 years between the 5th and 15th centuries. After the fall of Byzantium , it was carried on by other cultures in Europe and the Middle East. Icon pictures are an independent form of painting through perspective, color and representation. The basic stylistic design feature is a perspective summary of non-Euclidean geometries and the simultaneous use of curved surfaces with inverse perspective and bird's eye view as well as frontal imaging. The perspective representation of icon painting remains unaffected by the dogmas of the Renaissance perspective (central perspective). The reverse perspective is responsible as a design feature for the "eccentric" representation in icons that is typical in Western eyes. In terms of art history, it distinguishes "icon art" paintings from other styles. In the tradition of icon worship, Eastern and Western churches have been differentiating themselves since the 8th century via the Libri Carolini in the Frankish empire of Charlemagne, which excluded worship via the age of the Reformation, which forbade images in the Calvinist direction and as a result of the Reformation iconoclasm Image loses its liturgical function in the Church, in the Eastern Churches, with the exception of the age of the iconoclasm, the worship of icons remains part of philosophical and theological tradition. Occidental panel painting, which originated in Italy in the 13th century, is linked directly to the most recent development of icon painting in Byzantium, but differs mainly in the design of the image carrier in which the standard size of the icon is abandoned. From this, the altarpiece develops through a quick design change, which no longer has much in common with the icon. The role of icons in Rome in the High Middle Ages remained unbroken; The social fabric of the city is reflected in icon processions; icons are a means of religious, political and social articulation. The import of Byzantine icons remains fundamental and around those that seem to be of old age, a cult is founded wherever they appear, which helps the place where they are erected to gain power and wealth. In Venice, for example, the Byzantine icon Nicopeia is the state patroness who embodies the sovereign at petitions and ceremonies.

The meaning of miraculous Acheiropoieta , which came from the Jerusalem rites of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, was transformed into central cult objects of the empire and the capital through the icon processions that take place several times a week between the Marian patronage in Constantinople. From this practice, the countries of Slavic Orthodoxy, where the rite of processional icons was particularly important in Moscow and Russia, subsequently became icon painting as post-Byzantine centers. The pictures, mostly painted on wood, are consecrated by the church and are of great importance for the theology and spirituality of the Eastern Churches and are also widespread in the private sphere as devotional pictures . The purpose of the icons is to awaken awe and to be an existential connection between the viewer and the depicted, indirectly also between the viewer and God . Icon painting was considered a liturgical act and is precisely defined in terms of composition and color as well as the materials in the painter's book from Mount Athos . In Orthodox churches, icons are attached to the iconostasis according to a certain scheme , in which the large-format Deesis icons form the main row. Icons are an integral part of Byzantine art and have influenced the development of medieval European panel painting, particularly the Proto-Renaissance in the Maniera Greca .

The oriental Orthodox churches , e.g. B. the Coptic Church or the Armenian Apostolic Church , worship icons in their cult, but not the Assyrian Church . Influences of ancient Egyptian art can be found in Coptic icons.

Word origin

In the 19th century , the word icon, meaning “cult image”, was borrowed from Russian икона ikóna as exoticism . This word goes back to Church Slavonic икона ikona , which is derived from Middle Greek εἰκόνα ikóna . It is based on ancient Greek εἰκών eikṓn ([ ejˈkɔːn ]) "image, pictorial representation". Until the 5th century the term eikon had a general meaning, from the image of the dead to the portrait of a saint. Since the 6th century, the term graphis was established for secular portraits and eikon exclusively for religious paintings.

This is where the name of Veronica's handkerchief comes from , whose name “Veronika” as Vera Icona goes back to the words vera ( fem. , Latin for “real, true, authentic”) and eikon . At the same time, images are the basic form of masks, which are transformed into icons via the image of Christ on a cloth. According to Belting, icons are living masks that replace the mask theater of antiquity from liturgical practice in the church.


Icons in late antiquity and byzantium

Sacred development

The Salvator icon in the papal chapel of the Sancta Sanctorum in the Lateran shows analogies to the exhibition of late antique images of emperors
The Christ Pantocrator from the Katharinen monastery is one of the most important icons, probably Constantinople, 6th century
Gold and enamel icon, Constantinople Master, 10th century. St. Mark's Basilica, Venice
Deesis icons of medieval iconostasis in the Visoki Dečani Monastery. Around 1350
Full-figured Deesis icons with the representations of Saint Nicholas and the Mother of God. Iconostasis of the Visoki Dečani monastery, around 1350

According to Belting , the icon is formally and functionally in the tradition of ancient cult images, which had developed mainly in three areas: as a dead image, as an emperor's image and as an image of gods. The most important model for the icon of the saint was the portrait of the dead. Because the cult applied to the grave, but also the image of the buried, it was finally reproduced as an icon. A state cult of icons was formed in Byzantium since the 6th century, but it cannot be understood from the cult of images of the dead alone. The Byzantine emperor himself was the subject of ritual veneration, the imperial ceremony during official receptions included a permanent direction in which he sat stately on a throne behind a curtain and, after he was unveiled, accepted the proskynesis . The same submission that fell to the emperor as a living statue marks the Proskynesis in front of the Proskynetarion in the middle of the churches with the icon of the day's saint or feast. The imperial images of the Imago imperialis stood on a pedestal, as it were in the late Roman calendar image of the Notitia dignitatum , similar to the sacred analogy of the installation of the Acheiropoieton of the Salvator icon in the Sancta Sanctorum in the Lateran, and formed the center of an "altar". Another element that shaped the development of icons was the sign of standards and standards. Constantine's imperial standard, the labarum , bore the sign of Christ. The Clipeus Christi may have been attached above the portraits of the emperor. But he was not yet wearing a portrait, but the Christ monogram or the cross. Two centuries later, images of Christ had been introduced into the civil and military Klut des Imago imperialis. Christ does not appear in portraits as crucified on the cross, but in the Clipeus Christi as an imperial general. From this development, the portraits initially took the form of a portraiture, which seems to have been adopted from the early association between the emperor and Christ icons. Icons as round pictures appear in a psalter from the 9th century as well as an imperial calendar of saints from the 10th century in which events of the war of images occur: the overpainting of icons and the reintroduction by Empress Theodora in 843. Also the adoption of portraits of the Roman legions in the early days Icon painting is documented. The form and content of the icons thus emerged from an astonishing variety of late antique design themes. The subject reservoir of early figure painting was the basis of the beginnings of icon painting, which, before it found its own forms, first and foremost made use of the artistic fundus and the technical characteristics of ancient painting.

From literary sources, icons can be traced back to the 4th century. The oldest surviving icons date from the 6th century; however, from the time before the destruction of the Byzantine iconoclasm (9th century) there are only very few copies, mostly from remote areas.

Only after the end of iconoclasm in 843 did icons become a permanent integral part of Orthodoxy. It only took on its definitive form as an icon painted on wood in the High Middle Ages. In the late and post-Byzantine period, icons no longer only influenced the world of Orthodoxy, but far beyond. Portable icons were held in high esteem in the late Middle Ages and were also exported. The quantity of late Byzantine icons far exceeded that of earlier periods. Associated with this was an increase in dimensions: large icons were over 1.5 meters high. Many representations were larger than life. The older wooden icons of the Middle Byzantine era were mostly of a smaller format. At the same time, private icons were made from precious materials: gold, silver, precious stones, ivory and enamel. Due to the great material value, they were only produced in smaller formats and have been preserved because of their preciousness.

At the same time, there were also icons painted on wood, which were designed more simply. Only a few icons from before the 12th century have survived. From that time on, icons increased in both number and size. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the large Deësis icons with a height of 1.5 meters were no longer uncommon, and even larger specimens were not uncommon. The main reason for this increase in quantity and dimension was the practice of placing icons on the Templon , the wooden or brick curtain that screened the altar. As early as the 8th century it was known that paintings were attached to the outside of the Templon, on the architrave. Over time, more and more icons were attached to the architrave, until at some point the space between the columns blocked the view of the Holy of Holies . With this, wooden icons became the usual medium of Templon portraits, stimulating the trade in panel paintings and contributing to the great production that characterized the late Byzantine period.

In the late 13th century, the decoration of the Templon and the dimensions of the wooden icons attached between them had become standard. This determined sizes, shapes and presentations. Icons with a height of 1.2 to 1.8 m took the place between the columns of the Templon; the central representation and core of the iconostasis are the icons depicting the Deësis . The large Deësis icons stand next to the heavenly door of the iconostasis with the usually full-figure depictions of Christ sitting in judgment on Judgment Day, as well as the holy one standing by his side. Mary and John the Baptist. While there were four Deësis icons in the templon of the marble iconostasis in the Visoki Dečani Monastery in 1350, their number grew over time. Russian iconostases know up to fourteen Deësis icons.

A large number of icons have survived, especially from Greece, Macedonia, Russia, Romania and Cyprus. The most important techniques in the 6th century are encaustic painting , since the 7th century tempera painting on wood, as well as mosaic setting and carving in wood and ivory. The icons exhibited for the kiss were and are often covered in certain places with ornate brass, iron or silver sheets , the oklad , and thus protected. The motifs of icon painting are preferably images of Christ and saints as well as the representation of secrets of faith.

Icon cults in East and West

The Hodegetria in Smolensk was a shrine of Russia. On the day of the Battle of Borodino, she was carried through Moscow in procession. In War and Peace, Tolstoy describes how Kutuzov kneels before her. It disappeared without a trace in 1942/43.

According to Anotonova, the idea that the icon cult is a permanent factor in the identity of Eastern Orthodoxy was often emphasized as an exaggerated contrast between Eastern Orthodox and Western attitudes towards the cult of images. It is therefore only a tendency of the manifestations to underline differences between Orthodox and Catholic theology. A closer look at the Middle Ages reveals that up to the Reformation, the Orthodox East and the Catholic West had a fundamentally similar attitude towards religious imagery. In the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 787 , the theological position vis-à-vis icons was laid out most fully to date. Byzantium and the Roman papacy took similar positions on the question, but not the Franconian Church, whose theologians raised their objections in the Libri Carolini . Pope Hadrian I was an active contributor to the resolutions of Nicaea II, and the papal documents at the Council constitute the official position of the Roman Church. The negative Franconian responses to the Greek views on icon worship, however, presumably go back to imprecise and incorrect translation from the Greek. So the two Greek terms - time or “adoration” (to images) and latreia or “worship” (to God alone) - were translated into Latin together as “adorare”. The fine distinction in the base of the worship of icons was lost and the Franks remained hostile to this. The Franks condemned the worship of icons at the Councils of Frankfurt (794) and Paris (825), but the position was short-lived as the resolutions of their church were lost over time. A reply from the Pope to Charlemagne (793?) Constituted a defense of iconophilia. He founded the worship of icons on a Christological and traditional basis, arguments that were otherwise only attributed to the Byzantine school of thought. Nevertheless, in an expanded historical context, the antagonistic position of the Franks vis-à-vis Rome and Byzantium formed an anticipation of later events that came to bear in the West during the Reformation. The worship of icons was already present in Rome at the beginning of the 7th century, the annual procession of the icon of Christ from Santa Maggiore in Rome was an integral part of the liturgical year in the 8th century. In the Middle Ages there were even analogies in attitudes towards individual icons. The “ Nicopeia ” from the 11th century was a palladium of the Byzantines. She was considered her heavenly commander in times of war and threat. After the Crusaders had brought her to Venice in 1204, she was given the position of an icon of Saint Luke, she was placed at the head of the republic and honored. Leonardo da Vinci still described how in Renaissance Italy the believers reacted ecstatically and exalted in front of particularly venerated images of saints, threw themselves on the floor and prayed in front of the image for health and salvation.

State icons of Constantinople

The emblematic mosaic in the vestibule above the south-west portal of Hagia Sophia testifies that the city and main church were consecrated to the Patronage of Our Lady. That she was the patron saint of Constantinople is one of the main reasons for the strong devotion to Mary in the Byzantine Empire.
Hyperpyron Michael VIII Palaiologus, with the depiction of the icon of Theotokos Orans above the walls of Constantinople.
The icon depicting the triumph of Orthodoxy is itself an icon. It is the Theotokos Hodegetria , Constantinople's important miraculous procession icon of the Hodegon monastery next to the Empress Theodora II . 14th century, British Museum
Icons were and are the main components of processions. This form of public intercession and salvation was transmitted to Constantinople via Jerusalem. Since the 6th century, two large icon processions have taken place on Tuesdays and Fridays, led by the miraculous icons of Theotokos , Hodegetria, Theotokos Eleusa and Theotokos Blachernitissa. Numerous other Marian icons followed these main icons.

From Heraklios (610-41) the icon was considered to be superior to the emperor. It displaced the image of the emperor from the obverse (front) on the lapel of the solidus. The previous themes of the coin images were merged into one with the emperor holding the cross in his hand. Thus the imperial-ancient depiction was exchanged for a religious-ecclesiastical one and the emperors, as representatives of Christ on earth, related to each other in a hierarchical order in their portraits. Since then, the Byzantine emperors practiced an intensive cult of icons, for the purpose of which special ceremonies were held around dynastic icons. Icons now had the function of personal cartridges and palladiums, which were used under Justinian II in the form of a propaganda act against rivals in the west and east.

The belief in miraculous icons, which are predominantly Marian icons, took a special development. This interdependence between the iconographic representation of the Virgin Mary and the miraculous activity is closely connected with the hierarchy of Constantinople, the world center of the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as the archetype of Umbilicus mundi , symbolized New Jerusalem and since the eighth decade of 5th century had become a central center of Marian devotion. The Mother of God was seen in exegeses and hymns as the embodiment of holy wisdom, which, filled by the Holy Spirit, manifests the connection between the Old Testament archetype of the holy city and the new Christian archetype that arose in the capital of the Byzantine world empire. In addition to the relics of the veneration of Christ and Mary in the city, it was especially icons that indicated the presence of Mary in Constantinople. 3,600 relics from 467 saints and 1,000 churches made Constantinople an incomparable manifestation of Christian ideology. According to tradition, the icon of the Virgin Mary, which is ascribed to the Evangelist Luke, was brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople by the Empress Aelia Eudocia , wife of Theodosius II . In the eyes of the Byzantines this was, as it were, the original icon that St. Luke painted after living models, the first to be brought to Constantinople. According to the general belief of the Byzantines of the post-iconclastic period, Aelia Pulcheria , the influential daughter of the Emperor Arcadius , had the basilica of the Hodegon Monastery (Theotokos ton Hodegeon) consecrated to the Mother of God built in honor of this icon , which held a special position in the 12th century and thereafter . Here the Hodegetria was venerated as the most important icon of Constantinople and was therefore the destination of pilgrimages. The attribution of the creation of the image by the Evangelist Luke is possibly related to the presence of the Hodegetria in imperial symbolism and the ceremonies in which the Hodegetria rose to protect the city and the empire. It was one of the most revered sanctuaries in Constantinople. The installation of the icons of Mary and the simultaneous cult of Mary, which began in the Theodosian epoch, determined Constantinople as the symbolic “abode” of Mary in an emblematic way. In the following centuries, in the mind of the Byzantines, Mary formed a bulwark of the city that defended it against the enemy. This also gave rise to the manifestation of the moving icons, which in the miraculous disappearance and return of the Maria Romana icon from Rome to Constantinople, which only returned to the city after the end of iconoclasm, and from the 11th century onwards, also a written narrative of miraculous icons. Beyond Constantinople, miraculous icons were also known in the capitals of Slavic Orthodoxy. Moscow, Novgorod, Suzdal, Veliko Tarnowo and Belgrade each had one or more particularly revered icons, to which the palladium of city and empire was assigned in the same way as the Hodegetria of Constantinople.

The development of the connection of icons with the actually believed presence of Mary as well as her miraculous activity has been present in the defense of Constantinople in the 6th century since the threat to the empire by Persians, Avars, Slavs and Arabs. Emperor Justin II had the miraculous icon with the image of Jesus brought from Camuliana to Constantinople in 574. Three hundred years before the Mandylion of Edessa under Nikephoras Phokas (963–969) took over this function. Emperor Herakleios took the Camuliana with him on his campaigns against the Persians. When the Persians, Slavs and Avars attacked the city in 626, the city's redemption was awarded to an apparition of Mary as well as the relic of Maphorion and the icon of Theotokos Hodegetria in the city . The invocation of Mary by the Hodegetria developed in several phases. The importance of the Theotokos Hodegetria reached a peak under the Comnenes. The most important public procession in the capital, which took place every Tuesday through the streets of Constantinople, was led by this icon. The veneration of the Hodegetria on the occasion of the annual memorial service of the imperial family at the time of the Comnenes in the Memorial Foundation of the Pantocrator Monastery was the highlight of the liturgical year. The Theotokos Hodegetria was carried into the imperial mausoleum and set up near the imperial tombs in St. Michael's Church. In this act, dynastic cults were combined with the symbol of the palladium of empire and capital in the sacred center of the Pantocrator monastery. The Tuesday procession of the Hodegetria was introduced after 843 and, after overcoming iconoclasm, formed the ultimate triumph of Orthodoxy . The Tuesday procession in Constantinople originally came from liturgical practice in the city of Jerusalem. After salvation from the consequences of the earthquake 438/38, which was caused by the intervention of an icon attributed to St. Luke, the icon procession led to the Mount of Olives. The procession of the Hodegetria followed early every Tuesday morning from the square in front of the Hodegon monastery through the streets of Constantinople to the Marian shrine in Blachernae . On its way the procession was accompanied by other icons as well as sacred objects from the churches. Every week the procession took the way to a different church, as well as once a year for the memorial festival of the imperial dynasty to the Pantocrator monastery. Through the solemn procession of the icon to the monastery, this and the entire city were symbolically sanctified. In addition, the second most important procession of Constantinople from Blachernae to the Chalcoprates church , where the belt of Mary was kept, took place every Friday evening . This procession was led by the Theotokos Blachernitissa.

The Theotokos Hodegetria also formed the sign of victory that the Emperor Michael VIII. Palaiologos had carried in front of him on August 12, 1261 during his triumphal procession through Constantinople from the Golden Gate over the Mese to Hagia Sophia. On the occasion of this reconquest of Constantinople, Michael VIII had the representation of the mother god Hodegetria depicted on his seal. The representation actually corresponds to the icon of Our Lady Theotokos Blachernitissa, which was kept in the Marian Shrine with the main relic of the Mother of God near the new Blachernen Palace , but the representation connected the cults of the relic with that of the palladium of Theotokos Hodegetria. An image of the icon Theotokos Oran above the city walls also adorned the lapel of Hyperpyron during the reigns of Michael VIII and Andronikos II .

Icons among the Slavs

The miraculous work of icons is depicted in the icon of the battle between Novgorod and Suzdal. After an arrow hit Novgorod's icon of Maria orans , a heavenly judgment broke out on the Suzdal army. Novgorod, ca.1475

The designation of Belgrade as the capital of the Serbian despotate by Stefan Lazarević in 1402 followed the pattern of Marian patronage. Marian devotion had been widespread in Belgrade since Byzantine times. The 11th-century Byzantine Belgrade icon of the Virgin Mary shared the fate of Belgrade and its inhabitants just like the Ur-Hodegetria. It disappeared in 1521 when the city was taken by the Ottomans, a copy of the Bogorodica Beogradska can be found today in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. The miraculous activity of the Belgrade icon of Mary, which was located in the Belgrade Metropolitan Church and which Jörg von Nürnberg awarded to Saint Luke, was therefore also a Hodegetria. The old Serbian rulers' biographies report that this icon has long been revered . In the hagiography of Hélène d'Anjou, Danilo II tells that the Byzantine emperor's daughter Simonida , walker of the Serbian King Stefan Uroš II Milutin , first of all prayed in front of the icon of Mary on the occasion of her visit to Belgrade in 1315:

“So the pious walked through her territories with great royal splendor and reached the famous and important city, called the Serbian Belgrade, which lies on the banks of the Danube and Sava rivers. And here she prayed with devotion in the large metropolitan church in front of the miraculous icon of the Most Holy Mother of God. "

- Danilo II .: "Jelena", around 1332.

Byzantine icon painting in Italy

Cimabue's work “Mocking Christ”, which was only discovered in 2019, was part of an altar triptych. Cimabue is the last of the Italian "Byzantines".
Duccio, Madone Rucellai, 1285, Florence Uffizi

The Italian Duecento has two outstanding painters, Duccio and Cimabue , who cultivated the Byzantine style in Italy in the 13th century and are considered the last of the Byzantine painters in Italy. Among the panel paintings, the large-format altarpieces of the Enthroned Mother of God - Maestà - are entirely committed to Byzantine iconography and presumably follow direct Byzantine models: inverted perspective, gold ground and figurative representations are stylistic devices in the Maesten Cimabues and Duccios. Cimabue's Madonna Enthroned (3.85 × 2.23 m) was Duccio's direct model in the Rucellai Madonna and inspired Giotto in the Ognissanti Madonna to further develop it into the pre-Renaissance.

Design features

Form and representation

Icons are mostly icons of Christ, icons of Mary (especially so-called Theotokos representations), icons of apostles or saints. According to Orthodox belief, many of the protagonists of the Old Testament are saints and are therefore represented on icons just like the saints of later times. Certain scenes from the Bible , the life of the saints or typological groupings are reproduced as Hetoimasia , Deesis , Transfiguration or Trinity icons . An icon in the center of a saint is shown surrounded by a ring of smaller images with images from his Vita , is called Vitenikone . Icons have common features in their representation that differ from Western European post-Gothic artistic ideas and that are often based on theology.

  • The motifs and types are fixed in medieval Byzantine iconography (canon of images), icons that have already been written are used as a template for painting. Even Andrei Rublev , however, changed icon schemes from which today are even used as copyable templates (eg. As the presentation of the Old Testament Trinity without actually mandatory Abram and Sarai).
  • New motifs are made according to the iconography of existing icons or according to the specifications of the canon (gestures, facial expressions, coloring, etc.). In the 20th century, the number of saints in the Western Church rose sharply and the desire to decorate private homes or churches with an icon grew. Mention should be made of an icon in the Hildesheim Cathedral, the so-called "Hildesheim Cathedral Icon", which unites the patrons of the cathedral and the church itself in a new creation. Examples from the Eastern Church area are the icons of various "new martyrs" that have been widespread since 1990, i. H. Victims of communist persecution of Christians.
  • The figures on individual icons, which make up only a small part of all icons, are often shown frontally and axially in order to establish a direct relationship between the image and the viewer.
  • The portrayal of people in old painting styles is strictly two-dimensional, the special perspective is aimed at the portrayal itself. This emphasizes that the icon is an image of reality, not reality itself. Since the baroque era, however, there have also been icons in a naturalistic manner and complete baroque church furnishings that can be legally worshiped under canon law . The newly built Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow is a pure church in the Nazarene style.
  • On medieval icons, the background is usually gold-colored (less often silver), usually created by gold leaf, metal or ocher. The gold-colored background symbolizes the sky or the “divine light” as the highest quality of light. Serbian icons often show a blue background, Greek different color backgrounds. However, Russia in the Middle Ages also knew red-ground icons (Christ in the throne with chosen saints, St. John Klimakos with marginal saints; both Novgorod second half of the 13th century).
  • The forms are often structured and clear, with a flat background, without physicality, as this would be earthly (light and shadow).
  • The colors, the relative size of the figures, their positions and the perspective of the background are not realistic in the Middle Ages, but have symbolic meaning. The perspective of the background and of objects in the foreground (e.g. tables, chairs, goblets) is often intentionally "incorrectly" constructed so that the vanishing point lies in front of the image (reverse perspective). The environment often takes a back seat to the venerable person.
  • All persons are identified by inscriptions (abbreviations) in the respective language (e.g. Greek, Russian, Old Slavonic) to ensure that the reference to a real person is retained and that the worship of the icon does not become independent. A Christian icon only becomes an icon when it is inscribed; icons without inscription are not venerable images and are not consecrated. In other respects, too, there are often scrolls or books with texts in the hands of the saints, which, as in Romanesque and Gothic art, are remotely comparable to the speech bubbles in a comic . A gospel book is often given to a pantocrator icon, which reproduces a passage from the Bible of the New Testament assigned to the intention of the icon; but the Gospels are often closed. Icons of saints who have left written or oral teachings are often represented in a book, the open pages of which contain a central message of their teaching.
  • The individual, creative expression of the painter is irrelevant from a church perspective; Icon painting is seen as a spiritual craft, not as an art, which is why the word "hagiographia", that is, sacred writing, comes closer to the production of an icon. When writing icons, the painter is seen as “God's tool”. Icons are often made by monks , anonymous scribes or in factories or painting schools by several scribes. Traditionally, icons are not signed.
  • The varnish of an icon consists of oil, more rarely of wax or dammar resin solution, more recently also of synthetic resins.

Today, icons are usually panel pictures without a frame, painted in egg tempera on primed wood . Painting occurs more often on primed canvas, which is drawn onto wood after completion. In antiquity, on the other hand, painting was mostly done in encaustic . There are also mosaics , frescoes , carved icons ( ivory , wood) as bas-reliefs or cast enamel . Fully sculpted statues and statuettes, on the other hand, were rare in the old church and subsequently also in the Eastern Church, as they were too reminiscent of the idols of paganism.

Perspectives in icons

Byzantine painting was particularly interested in the lack of interest in the realistic representation of objects and the failure to use the principles of central perspective. The central perspective was from 480 BC. Known first for backdrops in theaters, later in the illusionistic fresco painting of living walls through Hellenistic mediation in Roman art. While late antique art was basically perspective, it disappeared in the course of the 4th century and only reappeared at the end of the Middle Ages. The lack of three-dimensionality in icons is explained by Russian authors on the basis of an idea of ​​a painting room that was not intended to be three-dimensional. Icons not only have a reverse perspective, as Oskar Wulff brought into the art-historical analysis in 1907, but they have several perspectives. A fundamental work on the reverse perspective comes from Pawel Alexandrowitsch Florensky (1920). His interpretation was further developed and reformulated by Clemena Anotonova. Anotonova introduced the concept of simultaneous planes for perspective in icons. This idea is based on the contextualization of culture in the Middle Ages in which spiritual presence consisted in both the making and the use of icons. By manifesting divine presence in the Orthodox culture in icons, they are symbolic references of the presence of the divine, which has been transformed into the representation of saints and connection to relics. From the historical associations of what is shown in the picture, the observer confirmed this presence. Icons thus represented timeless and spaceless perspectives of God's presence. Using the reverse perspective provides a representation of the view of all levels that are actually not visible to the human eye simultaneously. This is the medieval representation of the vision of the divine in which all levels and perspectives are presented at once. As a result, they are not perspectives of man, but of a divine figure as it would see the scene. A human observer is able to transcend time and space from the point of view of different levels, which emerge in perspective from a divine vantage point and all-encompassing knowledge.

Historical representations

Contemporary representations and techniques

Theology of icons

Christ by Andrei Rublev, early 15th century
Revers of the double-sided Poganovo icon with the vision of Ezekiel, Constantinople work around 1400, Sofia National Archaeological Museum

The icon serves to visualize ( represent ) Christian truths. In the course of the Byzantine picture dispute , the church father John of Damascus and the church teacher Theodor Studites gave the theological justification of the icon representation through the idea of incarnation : the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ enables the visual representation; God the Father should still not be represented. The biblical prohibition of images based on the invisibility of God in pre-Christian times (Exodus 20, 4 f.) Is not violated, because God himself broke it in the visible Christ. The mandylion , the “image of Christ not made by human hands”, which miraculously emerged through the will of Christ , could be regarded as the “founding icon ”. The worship of icons in the form of metania , kiss , candles and incense is accordingly not directed towards the image, but rather towards the truth that is present “behind” the image. In addition to images of Christ, images of saints should also be venerated, because the Holy Spirit works in the saints , who himself is God and is therefore rightly venerated. This is where Plato's doctrine of ideas works , which is illustrated in his allegory of the cave . In this sense, the picture dispute was finally decided in favor of the pictures - subject to certain conditions.

Numerous icon typologies have developed. Most of the icons are painted according to certain patterns and models. Nevertheless, the icon painters are free to design the details.

Icons are an essential expression of Byzantine art. This art was cultivated in Greece , Bulgaria and especially in Russia . Important icon painting schools were located in Vladimir , Novgorod , Tver and Moscow .

While Western influences changed icon painting in the 18th and 19th centuries or even falsified it from a non-orthodox point of view, in the 20th century people returned more to the Byzantine foundations. In Greece, the so-called neo-Byzantine style prevailed, which was modeled on two old icon painting schools - the icon painters of the palaeologists' time and the Italo-Cretan school. In Greece, however, many icons are still written in the Western Nazarene style.

Important icon painters in Russia were u. a. Feofan Grek , Andrei Rublev , Dionisij , the painting villages Palech, Mstera, Choluj as well as numerous Old Believers ateliers in the Urals and on the lower Volga.

Further centers of icon painting are in Georgia , Serbia , North Macedonia , Bulgaria , Armenia and Ethiopia . In Romania , the frescoes of the Moldavian monasteries are of great importance.

For the Orthodox Church, icons are windows into the spiritual world - hence the mostly golden background, the two-dimensionality and the non-naturalistic style of painting. In every Orthodox church there is the iconostasis , a wooden wall decorated with icons with, if the church is big enough, three doors between the believers and the altar. The chancel, separated in this way, also takes on the function of the western sacristy in churches with only a single-door iconostasis . In large churches the diaconicon, the space behind the southern door, serves as such Ostung provided the church. In the middle (from the viewer) to the right of the central door hangs an icon of Christ, on the left an icon of the Theotokos, in between is the royal door through which the priest brings the King of Honor to the congregation in the Gospel Book and in the Eucharist . During the Eucharist this door is open and the altar is visible. When the priest is not carrying the gospel or the chalice of the Eucharist, or when another person enters the sanctuary, one of the two outer doors is used.

Icons are venerated by making the cross, bowing or throwing themselves to the ground and kissing them (but not on the face of the depicted figure), i.e. simply greeting them with reverence. This worship is strictly differentiated from worship that only belongs to God. According to Orthodox doctrine, veneration also relates to the person depicted, not to the icon itself as an object made of wood and paint. Statues of saints, on the other hand, are rejected, especially since the ancient Greeks used statues a lot in their religion and they were therefore automatically identified with idols .

Most Orthodox also have icons at home, often in a “prayer nook” in the living room, preferably on the east wall. The design of such prayer corners is different in the various Orthodox cultures.

Jaroslavl 'and Pskov in particular are missing from the important "icon painting schools". On the other hand, Vladimir is less of a part. Novgorod, Tver and Pskov play a major role, especially in the early period up to the 16th century, Moscow (armory) and Jaroslavl 'until the beginning of the 18th century. B. Palech and Choluj. For Old Believer workshops in the Urals it is mainly Nev'jansk. In the painter's village of Mstera, too, mainly old-believing icon painters worked. Many of the icons that are usually attributed to Palekh for their fine painting also come from here. Other important Old Believer workshops are the Frolov workshop in Raja, today Estonia, the workshops in Vetka, today Belarus and Syzran on the lower Volga.

Icon painting

Icon painting is based on the works of classic models to this day. Icon painters learn their craft from experienced masters. Icon coloring books have been known about the coloring book of the Holy Mount Athos since the 18th century. After many Russians emigrated after the end of the First World War and the October Revolution, there were also icon painters who had carried out this activity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Of these, the Russians in exile Peter Fedorov and Ivan Schneider published a text "Tehnika ikonopisi" (The Technique of Icon Painting) in Paris in the interwar period, which was translated into German in 1978 and became the first specialist book in German. This font was followed by other publications that convey the techniques of icon painting for which modern painting media are available today. In the Orthodox countries, icon painting is learned at state institutions, especially in the directions of restoration of tempera paintings and church painting or private art academies.

Technique and preliminary drawing

The sequence of the most important activities in icon production follows traditional sequences of activities. These are a prerequisite for the construction of the icons, which consist of different materials and layers.

Important activities are:

  • Selection of the board and its processing
  • Preparing the board for priming, sanding, gluing and fixing the canvas
  • Preparation of the painting ground (Levkas)
  • Priming and treatment of the painting surface
  • Drawing, transferring, enlarging or reducing the drawing, drawing - "Grafija"
  • Gilding of the picture surface
  • Preparation of the colors and "development" of the icon
  • Execution of the details - Doličnoe
  • Stitch-like modeling of the details (Doličnoe)
  • Application of the sankir, first, second and third ocher and execution of the incarnate (Ličnoe)
  • Post-treatment of the drawing and painting, coloring of the surfaces of the surround and the border, the halos and lettering
  • Protection of the icon: varnishes, painting


The image carrier of the icons is wood. The choice and cut of the boards was usually based on local conditions. Durable types of wood were preferred and boards that were as free from knots as possible were chosen. Large boards were composed of two or more boards. The icon's board is primarily chosen from resin-free tree species: linden, alder, ash, birch, cypress, beech, plane tree, palm. Historically, pine boards were also used. Boards cut with an ax were found by old painters, later sawn wood was used. To pretreat the board, it is immersed in 50 ° C warm water, which is used to coagulate and excrete proteins. Then it is dried and impregnated with sublimate to eliminate wood pests. Boards are then trimmed and the side of the picture support determined. The convex side is always preferred as the front. The vertical of the icon also runs parallel to the wood fibers. In order to prevent the boards, which are almost always cut as flat panels, from warping, slide-in strips are laid out as cross wedges made of harder wood at the top and bottom. The area for the execution of the icon image is created by a recess (Kovčeg), which is 1–4 millimeters for smaller and up to 5 millimeters for larger icons.


Fabrics can be used as a carrier material for icons in two ways. In one case, fabrics are used to glue over joints in assembled wooden panels. In doing so, they soon went over to covering the entire wooden panel with a fabric in order to create a buffer layer between the wood layer, which is shrinking or expanding due to the weather and humidity, and the primer with the layer of paint on it, which is only movable to a limited extent, and thus to create cracks and to prevent similar consequences. Primarily, a fabric is the direct or actual support of the painting, which has a resistant wooden panel underneath for mechanical support and consolidation. The canvas wrapping and the wooden panel covered with canvas require a correspondingly flexible primer as the actual painting surface.


The primer of the icons is a special plaster or chalk base. Plaster of paris or chalk is mixed with glue and applied to the pre-glued image carrier material in several thin layers, which should either be sanded or smoothed individually or as a whole. The thickness of the layer and the amount of glue should vary from layer to layer in order to achieve a coherent and resistant primer. Color pigments, usually white, can also be added to the top layers or applied as a base coat , such as the bolus red on the areas intended for gold plating. The corresponding recipes are summarized in the painter's book from Athos:

  • Extraction and preparation of the glue
  • Preparation of the plaster
  • Preparation and application of the plaster base
  • Preparation and application of the bolus for gold plating and the gold plating itself

Icon collections and museums

The icon on the grave of St. Nicholas in Bari was a gift from the Serbian King Stefan Uroš III. Dečanski , around 1330.
The Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos has one of the largest collections of icons from the Middle Ages with icons from the 12th to 15th centuries. The Mother of God Hodegetria is one of the main works of European panel painting. Hilandar, 13th century

In Germany

Mosaic icon " Christ the Merciful ", 12th century. Byzantine Museum, Berlin
  • The Sculpture Collection and Museum for Byzantine Art in Berlin has a first-rate collection of late antiquity and Byzantine art from the 3rd to 15th centuries in Germany. Including one of the few surviving mosaic icons in the world.
  • The Icon Museum in Recklinghausen , which was opened in 1956, is the most important museum of Eastern Church art outside of the Orthodox countries. The central part of the collection comes from the collection of Alexandre Popoff , who founded the world's largest private Russian art collection in the "Galerie Popoff" in Paris in 1920 opposite the Elysée Palace . With funds from the WDR and the government of North Rhine-Westphalia and against the interests of the Louvre and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts , Popoff's collection of 50 Russian icons was secured for the museum in 1967 for 600,000 DM. Over 3,000 icons, embroidery, miniatures, wood and metalwork from Russia, Greece and other Balkan states provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse topics and the stylistic development of icon painting and cabaret in the Christian East. A wood-carved iconostasis gives an idea of ​​the location of the icons in the Orthodox churches. The Coptic Department of the Icon Museum documents the transition from pagan late antiquity to early Christianity in Egypt with excellent works. Reliefs made of wood and stone, fabric, glasses, bronzes and crosses as well as some mummy portraits testify to the diversity of artistic activity in Egypt from the 1st century to the early Middle Ages.
  • The Icon Museum of the City of Frankfurt am Main , which opened in 1990, forms the eastern end of the Frankfurt Museum Bank. It is located in the Teutonic Order House. The newly designed interior of the museum was designed by the Cologne star architect Oswald Ungers. The museum goes back to a gift from the Königstein doctor Jörgen Schmidt-Voigt , who donated around 800 icons to the city of Frankfurt in 1988. The collection, which dates from the 16th to 19th centuries, was gradually expanded to over 1,000 exhibits through systematic purchases, loans and donations. The Icon Museum experienced the most significant expansion of the collection in 1999. The Icon Museum received 82 post-Byzantine exhibits on permanent loan from the icon collection of the Museum of Byzantine Art in Berlin.
  • The icon collection in the Weimar Palace Museum: After Goethe's early efforts to acquire "Russian images of saints" for the Weimar grand ducal art collections, the merchant and lawyer Georg Haar began to build up a private collection of mainly Russian icons in Weimar in the 1920s and 30s. By his suicide in 1945, the collection in Villa Haar on the edge of Ilm Park had grown to around 100 painted wooden icons and cast metal icons from the 15th to 19th centuries. It finally came to the Weimar Castle Museum by will. Outstanding examples of Russian icon painting include the so-called royal door of a picture wall (iconostasis) from the Novgorod school (15th century) and a large-format icon depicting the Nativity of the Moscow school (15th century). Stylistic and iconographic diversity make the Weimar Icon Collection so special.
  • The Landesmuseum Mainz houses the 160 icon collection of Prince Johann Georg of Saxony . The prince himself respected them as a centerpiece of his interests and a central scientific concern. He devoted several individual studies to the icons in his writings. All of the icons in the prince's collection are post-Byzantine. Few pieces date back to the 16th century; most of the icons were painted between the 17th and 19th centuries.
  • The museum in the Old Schleissheim Palace , a branch museum of the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, houses around 50 wooden icons, mainly from the 19th century and mainly from Russian origins, plus around twice as many metal icons. The icons are part of the ecumenical collection of Gertrud Weinhold , which was transferred to the Free State of Bavaria in 1986. In 2000 the house received an icon foundation comprising around one and a half dozen pieces from a private hand with Russian icons from the 17th to 19th centuries.
  • The icon collection of Urs Peter Haemmerli the Museum Burghalde in Lenzburg is the largest permanently exhibited collection of icons in Switzerland. It includes around 65 Russian tablets from the 16th to 19th centuries.
  • From 1932 until his death in 1946, Emilios Velimezis collected icons for the Benaki Museum . Parts of this collection have been exhibited several times in German-speaking countries, including the Ikonen-Museum Recklinghausen (1998), the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (2007) and the Pergamon Museum in Berlin (2007).
  • In the Mildenburg Museum in Miltenberg , Russian and Greek icons as well as Romanian reverse glass icons from the Joachim and Marianne Nentwig collection are on display.

In Russia

  • The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow has the world's best collection of Russian art. It holds icons by the Russian icon painter Andrei Rublev, as well as a large collection of icons from the 12th to 17th centuries. The most valuable exhibit is the Byzantine icon of Our Lady of Vladimir.
  • The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg houses a large collection of Russian icons, which are included in the Collection of Russian Culture and Art.

In Switzerland

  • The Musée Alexis Forel in Morges on Lake Geneva has a collection of 130 icons, mostly from Russia (Jean-Pierre Müller Foundation), which are exhibited in changing parts.
  • The Musée d'art et d'histoire in Geneva has an icon collection comprising several dozen pieces. It is published as a monograph and is part of the permanent collection.

In the Netherlands

  • The Icon Museum in Kampen , the Netherlands, opened in 2005. The Alexander Foundation for Russian Orthodox Art was created to secure collections of icons from private collections for the future and to make them accessible to the public. The Stefan Jeckel collection was acquired in 2013. The collection consists of 1723 metal icons; it is one of the largest collections of travel and metal icons in the world.

In England

  • The British Museum in London has a collection of just over 100 icons from Byzantium, Greece and Russia. The largest group is made up of 72 Russian icons.

In Greece

In the exhibition hall of the treasury in the new library of the Hilandar monastery, ten Byzantine Deësis icons from the 13th century, which once belonged to eleven Deesis icons of iconostasis, the Mother of God Hodegetria, which is considered a masterpiece from an art-historical point of view and originally stood in the old iconostasis, as well as the central showpiece is a mosaic icon of Our Lady Hodegetria from the 12th century. In addition to the large number of Greek-Byzantine icons, the Serbian provenance "Bogorodica Neoboriva stena", which is legendarily associated with the battle on the Blackbird Field , is significant. The Mother of God Tricheirousa enjoys the greatest veneration . She is kept next to the abbot's chair in the naos of the church and is an essential pilgrim object of the monastery. It is also the most important icon of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In Italy

Icon of Hodegetria (15th century) in the chancel ( Bema ) in the Chiesa Santa Maria Assunta in Villa Badessa

In Serbia

  • The icon collection of the Serbian National Museum in Belgrade included icons from the 12th to 18th centuries with an emphasis on the 14th century. The double-sided icon depicting Maria Hodgeteria and the Annunciation and the icon of Zograf Longins of Saints Sava and Simeon are particularly important.
  • The Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Patriarchal Seat in Belgrade has the most important collection of liturgical and historical exhibits from the Middle Ages in Serbia, in which the icons of the re-establishment of the Patriarchate of Peć in 1557 are particularly important.

In North Macedonia

The Ohrid Annunciation, first half of the 14th century, is a masterpiece of the Palaiological Renaissance
  • The Ohrid Icon Museum is one of the most important in the world. It houses one of the most important collections of icons of the Palaiological Renaissance. Including a number of large-format double-sided icons of the Virgin Mary and Christ with silver fittings as well as the well-known depiction of the Ohrid Annunciation of Mary from the first half of the 14th century.

In Bulgaria

In Egypt

Archangel Gabriel, Constantinople or Sinai, 13th century.
  • The St. Catherine's Monastery on Sinai has the largest Byzantine icon collection in the world, which also includes icons made before iconoclasm. The 13th century icon of the Archangel Gabriel is considered a masterpiece of Byzantine art. The icon of Christ Pantocrator from the 6th century, made in encaustic technique, is one of the oldest in the world.

In the United States

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art maintains one of the most comprehensive collections of medieval art in the Dependence The Met Cloisters. One of the main collections is the art of Byzantium from the 5th to 15th centuries.

Derived terms

Special icons


  • Bernhard Bornheim: Icons - A collector's book. Augsburg 1990, ISBN 3-8289-0797-0 .
  • Bernhard Bornheim: The Russian house icon through the ages. Battenberg, Regenstauf 2008, ISBN 978-3-86646-043-0 .
  • Helmut Brenske: Icons. Legat, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 3-932942-16-7 . (1st edition. Schuler, Munich 1976)
  • Helmut and Stefan Brenske: Icons. 2nd Edition. Verlag Internationaler Kulturdienst, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-926469-51-X . (1st edition. Rombach, Freiburg i. Br. 1994, ISBN 3-7930-0482-1 )
  • Stefan Brenske: Icons and the modern. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2005, ISBN 3-7954-1680-9 .
  • Titus Burckhardt : On the essence of sacred art in the world religions . Origo, Zurich 1955. Strongly expanded new edition as: Sacred Art in the World Religions . Chalice, Xanten 2018, ISBN 978-3-942914-29-1 . Pages 49-96.
  • Helmut Fischer: From Jesus to the icon of Christ. Imhof, Petersberg 2005, ISBN 3-86568-025-9 .
  • Pavel Florenskij : The Iconostasis . Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-87838-587-0 . (contrary to its title not only deals with iconostasis, but also with basic information on icon theology)
  • Pavel Florenskij : The reverse perspective . Verlag Matthes and Seitz, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-88221-244-6 .
  • Helene Hoerni-Jung: From the inner man (icons of the divine son). Kösel, Kempten 1995, ISBN 3-466-36415-9 .
  • Icon Museum Recklinghausen: Icons - restoration and scientific research. Recklinghausen 1994, ISBN 3-925801-25-1 .
  • Orthodox Church icons. The Yorck Project, Society for Image Archiving, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-936122-21-0 . (1 CD-ROM)
  • Richard Zacharuk (Ed.): “Lebendige Zeugen.” Dated and signed icons in Russia around 1900. Legat, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-932942-17-5 . (Catalog of an exhibition that took place in Frankfurt am Main in 2005. It contains information on workshops and icon painters, as well as many examples of dated icons)
  • B. Rothemund: Handbook of Icon Art. 3. Edition. Slavic Institute, Munich 1985, OCLC 13506440 .
  • Abraham Karl Selig: The Art of Icon Painting . Tyrolia, Innsbruck 2006, ISBN 3-7022-2081-X .
  • Ioann B. Sirota: Iconography of the icons of the Mother of God . Würzburg 1992, ISBN 3-927894-10-9 .
  • Alfredo Tradigo: Icons: Masterpieces of the Eastern Church. Parthas, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-936324-05-0 .
  • Gerhard Wolf: "Salus Populi Romani". The history of Roman cult images in the Middle Ages . VCH, Acta Humaniora, Weinheim 1990, ISBN 3-527-17717-5 .
  • Bettina-Martine Wolter (Ed.): Between heaven and earth. Moscow icons and illumination from the 14th to 16th centuries . Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 1997, ISBN 3-7757-0704-2 .
  • Richard Zacharuk (Ed.): Icons - Ikonen. (Icon Museum Frankfurt am Main.) 2nd edition, Legat, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-932942-20-5 .

Web links

Commons : Icon  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Icon  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Ikone - Duden , Bibliographisches Institut , 2016
  2. ^ Clemena Antonova: Space, time, and presence in the icon: seeing the world with the eyes of God. 2010, p. 153.
  3. Annemarie Weyl Carr: Images. Expressions of Faith and Power. In: Helen C. Evan: Byzantium - Faith and Power (1261-1557). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / Yale University Press, New Haven 2004, ISBN 1-58839-113-2 , pp. 143-207.
  4. ^ Hans Belting : Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. Münster 1990, p. 143.
  5. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. Munster 1990.
  6. Icons - Very pale on Good Friday. In: Der Spiegel. No. 43, October 22, 1990.
  7. ^ Clemena Antonova: Space, time, and presence in the icon: seeing the world with the eyes of God. Ashgate 2010, ISBN 978-0-7546-6798-8 .
  8. ^ Clemena Antonova: On the Problem of "reverse perspective": Definitions East and West. In: Leonardo. 43 (5), 2010, pp. 464-469.
  9. ^ Clemena Antonova: Space, time, and presence in the icon: seeing the world with the eyes of God. 2010, p. 153.
  10. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. 1990, pp. 331-347.
  11. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. 1990, pp. 369-390.
  12. ^ Friedrich Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language . 24th edition. 2002, ISBN 3-11-017473-1 , p.
  13. ^ Clemena Antonova: Space, Time and Presence in the Icon. Seeing the world with the eyes of God. Ashgate, Farnham 2010, ISBN 978-0-7546-6798-8 .
  14. God's presence in the picture. Hans Belting explains the religious roots of European visual culture. Review by Thomas Kroll
  15. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. Münster 1990, p. 116.
  16. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. 1990, p. 116.
  17. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. 1990, p. 122.
  18. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. 1990, p. 124.
  19. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. 1990, p. 130.
  20. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. 1990, p. 131.
  21. Frank Büttner, Andrea Gottdang: Introduction to Iconography: ways of interpretation of image content . CH Beck, 2006, ISBN 3-406-53579-8 , p. 30.
  22. Annemarie Weyl Carr: Images. Expressions of Faith and Power. 2003. In: Helen C. Evan: Byzantium - Faith and Power (1261-1557). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / Yale University Press, New Haven 2004, ISBN 1-58839-113-2 , pp. 143-207.
  23. Annemarie Weyl Carr: Images. Expressions of Faith and Power. 2003, p. 143.
  24. Clemena Anovova: Space, Time and Presence in the icon. 2010, p. 69.
  25. Clemena Anovova: Space, Time and Presence in the icon. 2010, p. 71.
  26. Clemena Anovova: Space, Time and Presence in the icon. 2010, p. 72.
  27. Clemena Anovova: Space, Time and Presence in the icon. 2010, p. 72.
  28. Clemena Anovova: Space, Time and Presence in the icon. 2010, p. 72.
  29. ^ Hans Belting: Image and cult: a history of the image before the age of art. 1990, pp. 156-157.
  30. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. Brill, Leiden 2017, ISBN 978-90-04-31471-9 , p. 79.
  31. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. 2017, p. 65.
  32. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. 2017, pp. 69–70.
  33. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. 2017, p. 80.
  34. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. 2017, p. 81.
  35. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. 2017, pp. 95–96.
  36. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. 2017, pp. 128-133.
  37. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. 2017, p. 136.
  38. Jelena Erdeljan: Chosen Places - Constructing New Jerusalem in Slavia Orthodoxa. 2017, p. 182.
  39. ^ Stanislaus Hafner: Old Serbian rulers' biographies. Volume II: Danilo II. And his pupil: The royal biographies. (= Slavic historians. Volume 9). Styria, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1976, ISBN 3-222-10553-7 , p. 140.
  40. Virtual Uffizi Gallery - Cimabue
  41. This can be seen in almost every church by the rendering of the sacrament table in the icon above the royal door.
  42. The somewhat strange expression “write icons” goes back to the ancient Greek verb γράφειν gráphein , which means “to write” as well as “to draw”
  43. ^ Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky : Reverse Perspective. 1920. In: Pawel Florensky: Beyond Vision: Essays on the Perception of Art. N. Misler (Ed.). Reaction Books, London 2002, ISBN 1-86189-130-X . (Reverse perspective)
  44. Heinz Skrobucha: Icon painting - technique and preliminary drawings. Based on a Russian manuscript by Ivan Schneider and Peter Fedorov. Translation from Russian by Willi Brückner. Aurel Bongers, Recklinghausen 1978, ISBN 3-7647-0310-5 .
  45. ^ State Art Academy for Painting in Saint Petersburg
  46. Ikonopis - Sumatovacka Art Academy, Belgrade
  47. Ikonopis - Art Academy Pero Art Centar
  48. Heinz Skrobucha: The icon painting. 1978, pp. 7-8.
  49. Maqrcell Restle: Real Lexicon for Byzantine Art. Volume V, Anton Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1995, pp. 1252-1253.
  50. PAINTING / ICONS Damn sensuality. In: Der Spiegel. No. 15, April 3, 1967.
  51. ikonenmuseumfrankfurt.de
  52. Arne Effenberger : Goethe and the "Russian holy pictures". Beginnings of Byzantine art history in Germany. Zabern, Mainz 1990, ISBN 3-8053-1204-0 .
  53. Ulrike Müller-Harang: On the origin and tradition of the hair icon collection in Weimar. In: "Your Imperial Highness" Maria Pawlowna - Tsar's daughter at the Weimar court. Part 2, Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 2004, pp. 365–372; Andrea Graef: The Russian icon collection and Georg Haar's passion for collecting. In: Living Legacy. The "Dr. Georg Haar" foundation. One family - one place - one mission. Weimar 2011, pp. 39–49.
  54. ^ Collectors - pilgrims - pioneers. The collection of Prince Johann Georg of Saxony . Zabern, Mainz 2004, ISBN 3-8053-3447-8 .
  55. ^ Jean-Paul Deschler: Icons. Word of God in the picture. Russian icons from the 16th to 19th centuries in the Burghalde Museum, Lenzburg. Lenzburg 2002; Museum Burghalde: Museum of Russian Icons .
  56. museum-miltenberg.de
  57. Stella Frigerio-Zeniou, Miroslav Lazović: Icônes de la collection du Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva. Milan / Geneva 2006, ISBN 88-7439-312-1 .
  58. britishmuseum.org
  59. Official presentation of the Hilandar Monastery Treasury (in Serbian)
  60. ^ Giuseppe De Micheli: La comunità arbëreshë di Villa Badessa oggi : Le eredità del passato come risorsa per il futuro . Thesis. Università degli Studi “G. d'Annunzio ”Chieti - Pescara, 2011, p. 59 (Italian).
  61. Storia del comune di Rosciano (History of the Municipality of Rosciano). Retrieved February 14, 2017 (Italian).
  62. Museo Comunale delle Icone e della Tradizione Bizantina , accessed on February 18, 2017.
  63. Museo delle Icone e della Tradizione bizantina (Museum of Icons and Byzantine Tradition). Retrieved April 21, 2017 (Italian).
  64. ^ Vreme, June 1, 2013 Otvoren re Konstruisani muzej SPC
  65. Icon Gallery
  66. ^ Archbishop Damianos: The Icon as a Ladder of Divine Ascent in Form and Color. - Monastary of Saint Catherine, Egypt Sinai. 2003. In: Helen C. Evan: Byzantium - Faith and Power (1261-1557). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / Yale University Press, New Haven 2004, ISBN 1-58839-113-2 , pp. 335-201.
  67. Medieval Art and the Cloisters