The icon is a powerful symbol of religious art and spirituality. The Byzantine style of the icon, with its broad range of colors, seemingly random composition, and intricate details, is an intriguing subject of art history.
The Byzantine period was marked by a political conflict between the East Roman or Byzantine Empire and the Western Roman Empire. The split between the two empires in 395 AD resulted in cultural differences as well. Western art has tended to be more realistic and representational while Eastern art has tended to be flat and abstract.
In this blog post we look at a traditional Byzantine painting and explain why it is relevant today. We explore what makes Byzantine art so fascinating, both to religious historians and to the average person on the street.
The best way to describe the painting is as a modern take on traditional Byzantine icons. The artist, David Hockney, used the same techniques that were used hundreds of years ago. The camera may have changed — but some things never will.
While viewing Hockney’s work, it is impossible not to be drawn into the religious symbolism and beauty of them. One example is “The Virgin of the Rocks” (1483) by Leonardo Da Vinci. It was after seeing this painting that Hockney became interested in iconography and began his exploration into Byzantine art history.
His work is a culmination of ideas from other master painters such as Vermeer, Poussin, and the artists from the Renaissance period. These digital artworks are a blend of old and new styles. They are similar in style to older works but demonstrate how contemporary society has evolved over time — for example, having digital photographs instead of hand-painted portraits.”
You can read more about his pieces here: http://www.davidhockney-online.com/painting_byzantine_style/index.html
It is the piece de resistance of the Byzantine icon; a painting that has been copied and parodied thousands of times: The Last Supper.
Is it just a religious scene? A depiction of the last meal Jesus shared with his followers before his death? Or is there more to it than that?
In order to understand its true meaning, we must first go back in time to the beginnings of Christianity, when the message of Christ was spread not with words, but by example. By living among men as one of them, Christ taught men how they should live their lives.
*When he washed his disciple’s feet, He taught them humility* When he cured the sick, he taught them compassion *When he fed the hungry, he taught them charity
It is no coincidence that Christ chose 12 disciples. It was a symbolic way for him to represent the fact that Christians should always be there for one another: The firstborn son was Judas Iscariot; who later betrayed him. And so on…
*This tradition of symbolizing Christian values through images continued in Byzantine art. Many times you will see two well known characters in an image representing two different ideals or virtues.*
For example: Saint George and the Dragon. In this story Saint George
As you enter the church, you can’t help but notice the life-size icons. Colorful, gilded and framed in deep black, they are impossible to miss. They are traditional Byzantine art.
The icon, which literally means “image”, was a common form of artwork in the Byzantine empire. In Byzantine churches like the Church of the Virgin of the Pharos, they were made to be seen on a daily basis by worshippers.
The idea was that as you enter into worship and as you pray, you would be reminded of life through these images. The images would remind you of people that needed your prayers and help. Indeed, this was their purpose — to wake up in people’s hearts feelings of love and compassion for others.
As you walk around this beautiful church, and see how it is adorned with beautiful paintings, you are surrounded by color and beauty and life. Icons were meant to be seen in a moment — a brief encounter with Christ or one of his saints — not to be admired like an object in a museum or art gallery where time stands still.
I believe that these images can teach us much about our own lives today. The color reminds me of my life that is filled with color: my friendships and family, my sisters
A Byzantine mosaic panel from the 6th Century CE is a true masterpiece. The figures are beautifully dressed, in intricate garments that cover their bodies in an even pattern. Their jewels and accessories are brightly colored, intricately detailed, and placed with care to enhance the overall design of the piece.
The most important thing to remember about this type of art is that it was made for its own sake. It was not created to be a portrait of someone specific or to tell a specific story; rather, it was designed to be beautiful. Many types of art were created for a different purpose than art today; for example, one may make an image of Jesus Christ as a reminder of his sacrifice and as a way to inspire others in their own religious practices. But such works are not considered art; they are more like devotional items or holy relics. Art in the Western world today is meant primarily to be enjoyed by those who view it. Byzantine mosaics and other Byzantine art are unique in that they were created primarily for their beauty.
New Byzantine painting is really just traditional Byzantine painting using modern materials and produced on a larger scale. This allows artists to create whole pieces of art without losing any detail that would be lost when creating small pieces in mosaic form; additionally, these new
The Byzantine period, which ranges from 350-1453 AD, is considered a time of great advancement in art. It was a time when culture was able to flourish in the center of Christianity, as well as spread beyond its borders. The Byzantine art style was an amalgamation of various cultures, such as the Roman and Persian empires. The result was a style that is both historical and modern at the same time.
The Byzantine paintings are not just beautiful for their intricate detail, but also for their symbolism and representation of important figures in the Christian religion. In fact, some of the symbols used by the Byzantines are still used today by Christians all over the world.
The Byzantine Paintings are a series of six frescoes which were created in the early 13th century by the Byzantine artist, Theophanes the Greek. They are currently located in Istanbul, Turkey at the Chora Church (Kariye Camii). The paintings depict Jesus Christ, Mary and John the Baptist. There is also a painting of Mary with her blue robe and gold background which is identified as Mary Magdalene and some scholars suggest that it may be Mary, mother of Jesus.
For over 700 years these paintings have survived time, Turkish conquest, earthquakes and religious conflict. They are still a profound presence to those who visit the Chora Church today. I believe that the reason these paintings have stood the test of time is because they convey an important message relevant to all people, regardless of their religious beliefs.
The message that I find most compelling is one of self-sacrifice, humility and family values. This painting shows Jesus Christ hugging his Mother and John the Baptist who has his arm around Jesus’ shoulder. Jesus does not look upon them with pride or arrogance but rather looks upon them as he would any human being; humbly and without regard for social status or power. These individuals represent a loving family who genuinely care for each other despite their differences