This gallery explores the idea of iconography.  Iconography usually describes the identification, description, and interpretation of shared symbols.  I will explore this in a religious context, with a focus on Christian iconography.  However, a few other religions' icons will be explored as well.

This Ethiopian Christian icon depicts a processional of Christian saints. I have included this work because of its rarity and its unique shape. The parchment was carefully stitched together and folded into a fan. This icon was most likely kept folded up when not in use. When unfurled, this icon was a large circle. It was probably used for liturgical processionals.
This work is an icon from Greece. It depicts St. George, the Dragon Slayer. I have included this work because of its form and its later date. This icon exemplifies how artists were still using classical imagery in the early 1800s.
This work is a traditional Byzantine icon. Byzantine Christian artists of icons call themselves "icon writers." It is considered s religious calling to write icons. Many icons like this start with an underwriting, which is a base drawing similar to a fresco cartoon. The act of writing an icon is considered to be a form of prayer, in addition to an art form. The video accompanying this work quickly shows how the layers of the icon are written.
This icon depicts the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus. In contrast to the previous icon in this gallery, this icon is a painted tile. This material hearkens to the elaborate mosaics used in Byzantine churches. Byzantine churches used a lot of mosaics in their churches because the climate did not allow for frescoes to dry properly.
This icon is a metalwork piece. The symbology predates Christianity and Islam, but some people attribute the image to the prophet Muhammad's daughter's hand (known as the hamsa hand). This symbol is generally known as one of protection
This work is a Buddhist icon. The robe Buddha is wearing signifies that he is a monk, and his long ears represent his princely background. He sits in a posture of meditation. The large, leaf-like form behind him is his halo, which represents his spiritual energy. Thus icon is a somewhat typical representation of Buddha, and it exemplifies Eastern iconography.
This is a typical Hundu icon depicting Shiva. Shiva is balancing on a demon, which represents ignorance. This icon tells a story of destruction and creation. This dance perpetuates the cycle of the universe's creation, maintenance, and destruction. The circular form of the statue relates to the elliptical nature of time and creation.
Credits: All media
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