The icon is a very important part of Christianity. In Greek, this word means "image." Usually the icons depict various saints, the Mother of God, Jesus Christ, or actions that occurred in ancient times and are described in the Holy Scriptures.
General information about icons, their spiritual value
The face depicted on the icon is not the Lord God. It is believed that he is called only to remind the worshiper of the Divine. Therefore, they write on the icon not a face, but a face. Very important in it are the eyes that reflect the depth of the soul. No less significant are the hands whose gestures have a certain meaning.
The rest of the figure is very airy, as it is designed to show inner strength. It is on this that the accent is made.
In a certain period of time, a religious theme became popular among artists. And now it seems that the picture and the icon on the same topic are depicted on it by the same saint, for example. But on the first canvas there is spirituality, but on the second there is none. That's why they require to observe the long-written canons in icon-painting, which exclude random details. Each fragment carries a certain semantic and spiritual load.
Icon in terms of history
The appearance of the icons dates from the 1st century AD It is believed that the first of these was created by Luke, who wrote one of the parts of the Gospel. According to the second version, the oldest image is the imprint of the face of Jesus Christ, when he applied to the towel during washing.
Anyway, the most ancient images found were dated to the 6th century. They were made in the Byzantine Empire, which had a great influence on the writing of icons. In her, but much later, the canons for writing images were written.
The history of icons has different periods. There were persecutions, flourishing, and changes in writing style. Each of the images displays its time, each is unique. There are a lot of icons that exude miracles, tears, blood, healing the sick in difficult times. They are revered as the greatest shrines.
How icons are created
The icon is an important symbol for a believing person, so the process of creating it reflects the long-described canons, which have been preserved to this day. Creating an image - it's not a fast one, you need at least three months for this.
The creation of the icon has some stages that are strictly observed:
- The choice of wood and the production of the board, which will be the basis.
- Then the surface is prepared. This is necessary in order to keep the image for a long time without changes. For this, several actions are performed. First make a memorization, then apply a liquid glue, after - a primer (gesso). The latter should be applied several times and let it dry well, then - sand it off. Often, before the layer of gesso, glue a peel or a serpian (a special cloth).
- The next step is drawing a picture. This is not the final image - just a contour. It should be squeezed out with something sharp, so that it does not get lost among the other layers.
- If the icon will have gilding, then it should be applied right now, at this stage.
- Now you need to prepare the paint. For painting the icon you need to take natural ones.
- The first colors are applied uniform, on the background and the dots.
- Then comes the painting. The first to process the sub-elements (landscape, clothing), after which they paint personal details (hands, feet, face). Also sign the icon (who is depicted on it).
- The final touch is the treatment with varnish or varnish.
Then the icon should be sanctified.
The Importance and Importance of Icons in the Temple
All the icons in the temple are important, they are in their place. Entering the church immediately visible iconostasis. It is a wooden wall that is in front of the altar of the temple. It depicts the life of Christ, a description of his sufferings.
You should know that each icon hangs in its place is not accidental. In the center there is necessarily the so-called Deesis tier, in which there are numerous saints, martyrs. In its center is the icon of Christ the Almighty. Above - festive images, among which are stories from the New Testament.
In the center of the iconostasis are the Royal Gates, behind which is the altar. On the sides - images with the faces of Christ and the Mother of God. Also there is also the lower tier, which is filled with icons of saints, as well as images of the holidays, which are more respected here.
Speaking about the meaning of icons in the church, one can note their importance in various rituals, in reminding of the Lord for the believers. Some have a special status as healing from ills, fulfilling worldly desires. They are also addressed with gratitude for their help.
It is believed therefore that the icons in the church are intermediaries. Believers know that by applying with a sincere request to the saints depicted on them, one can expect help.
The most ancient and ancient icons
In Christianity there are especially revered images that have come to us since ancient times. They are the link between the times when the events described in the Bible occurred and ours. These ancient icons in the original are mostly kept in museums, but they were often copied for other temples.
For example, in the Kiev Museum of Western and Eastern Art, the most ancient icon of John the Baptist is kept , which dates back to the 6th century. It was performed with the help of the technique of those times - encaustic. It was used to paint ancient icons in Byzantium.
Also one of the oldest surviving images is the painting of the Apostles Peter and Paul. The date of its creation is the 11th century. Now it is stored in the Novgorod Museum. It is not completely preserved: hands, faces and feet do not retain the original paint. However, during the restoration, the contours were updated.
The existing icon of St. George, which is kept in the Assumption Cathedral in Moscow, is assumed to date from the end of the 11th - the beginning of the 12th century. The preservation of this relic is good.
Ancient icons are an important heritage of Christianity. Each of them has its own special story, the technique of writing. The study of icons shows what materials were used to create them. Unfortunately, very few of those first images survived, as there were periods of their mass destruction.
It should also be noted that the author was rarely mentioned at that time. This indicated that the important thing in icon painting was still the image.
This is a separate category of images in Christianity. Usually, personal icons are purchased at baptism, then they must be kept for life. It will be even better if you hang such an image over the crib of the child, so that he protects him from troubles.
It is necessary to know that nominal icons are those on which a saint is depicted, in honor of which a person is baptized. Usually such an image is chosen by the name of the child. If there is no such among the saints, then one should take what is most suitable. Thus, the child has a heavenly patron.
In ancient times, such icons were ordered specifically for the birth or baptism of a child. They were called dimensional and were made into the growth of an infant.
Nominal icons are not the only ones that are used for special occasions. There are also:
- Wedding icons - used during the rite in the church;
- Family - they can be depicted saints, whose names correspond to family members, usually they are passed down from generation to generation;
- Those that should be on the home iconostasis;
- Icons revered by the family of saints.
The most famous icons of the Mother of God
A special attitude in icon painting to the female image, namely to the Mother of God. Her icons are very revered by believers, often have miraculous power. Each of them has its own meaning. Any such icons (photo is in the article) are very original.
- Kazan Icon of the Mother of God . She was found on July 8, 1579, on the ashes of a burnt down house in Kazan. This icon is considered healing.
- Iberian icon of the Mother of God . For the first time it became known about the IX century, when a miracle happened, and blood was poured from it. After that, it was found on Athos in 200 years. Prayer before this icon helps during difficult circumstances, for healing or increasing soil fertility.
- Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God . It is believed that it was written by the Evangelist Luke. Now it is kept in Russia. This icon is very revered among mothers. It helps in prayer for children, about their healing. Also pray to her women who want to become mothers.
- The Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God . One of the most ancient, dates from about XI century. Today it is kept in the Tretyakov Gallery. They pray with prayer to this icon during wars, to strengthen faith. It also helps during illnesses (both mental and physical). It is believed that this icon is the guardian of the house and the defender in everyday affairs.
There are also other images of the Mother of God praying. Each icon is a special protection and help for this female image in Christianity.
Icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
Nicholas the Wonderworker is no less revered saint in the Christian world. They address him on various issues - from bodily diseases to stopping quarrels and military actions. He lived in the III-IV centuries and already during his life was famous for his great deeds. There are numerous icons of him, photos of which illustrate his spirituality.
The most ancient image of the saint dates back to the 11th century and is located on Mount Sinai, in the monastery of St. Catherine.
Today in many monasteries and temples there are his images, which have wonderful properties.
Icons of the Son of God Jesus Christ
One of the first images of Jesus Christ was his imprint on a towel, which appeared there miraculously. In the modern world, it was called the Savior Not Made by Hands.
If we talk about the icons of Jesus Christ, there are a lot of them. There are also several forms of writing his images.
- The Savior is a strict face, his writing does not depart from the canon.
- Savior Almighty - it is believed that this is his main image, which also corresponds to his preaching age.
- The Savior Not Made by Hands. It is represented by two species - "Savior on the Ubrus" and "Savior on the Skulls".
The image of the Son of God now has some binding elements. This is a halo, a book, outer clothing, a clave, a tunic. An inscription is also required.
His icons and their significance have a special status in Christianity.
Icons of Sergius of Radonezh
Sergius of Radonezh is one of the most revered saints. During his lifetime, he performed many feats in the name of Christ. His words reconciled and pacified.
On the icon Sergius of Radonezh is depicted austere, with a raised right-hand blessing hand. In the left he holds the scroll as a symbol of knowledge. His icons and their meaning are very important for Christians. Pray to this saint about protection from enemies for the country. He also helps in study, before the exam or just during the difficulties in understanding something.
Mirotochenie and wonders of icons
Myrrh-streaming icon is a miracle that does not happen very often. It is believed that this is a warning about something. Also this phenomenon can be the result of a sincere and long prayer.
It is believed that the liquid that the icon emits at this moment is healing. If an anointing is done to the patient, his illness can go away.
Mirotochenie is also a manifestation of the Lord to people who believe. This is his message to them.
Prices for icons
In every church shop you can buy icons. Prices for them may vary. The most expensive, of course, are the ancient images, which have survived to this day. Many of them are kept in museums or temples. Such icons are usually not sold, only evaluated. For example, the images of the Apostles Peter, Paul, John, and Mark date from the 16th century. They are valued at 150 thousand euros.
Also the cost of the icon will depend on its design. Even the images written in our time, but decorated with expensive materials (gold, silver, precious stones), will be sold cheaply. The price range of them can start from 2500 rubles. The cost will depend on the materials.
If you need inexpensive icons, that is quite simple in design. They can be purchased in shops near the church. Similar images can be bought at a price of 100 rubles and more.
Rarely the same icons can be purchased in an antique shop or at the sale of a private collection. It is difficult to overestimate such icons and their significance, since for a believing person they are truly priceless.