The Nature of Divine Beauty

A Tough Love Many are drawn to the beauty of icons. But clearly this beauty is of a different order than, say, that of a Greek statue, or of a Renaissance painting. Icons are liturgical objects, created for prayer, a means of communion with the Lord. So what are some of the characteristics of divine…

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Seeking Perfection in the World of Art: The Artistic Path of Father Sophrony

Editorial note: Due to its little-known subject matter and the book’s current limited availability in some regions, the following is a summary, rather than a standard review, of Seeking Perfection in the World of Art: The Artistic Path of Father Sophrony1 – Sister Gabriela’s monograph on the artistic journey and iconographic legacy of Elder Sophrony.…

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The Nativity Icon as an Image of Reality

The Nativity icon, like most festal icons, does not merely depict an event that happened two thousand years ago, but rather by its form and the hierarchy of its elements, shows us the inner workings of how the Divine Logos is Him by whom all things were made. The icon also shows us how His…

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The Icon of The Last Judgement

The icon of the Last Judgement is one of the most complex Christian images.  As depicting the final things, it is a synthesis of the cosmic mystery. As an image of judgement, it is also the place where everything is resolved by Christ.  From the very first moments in my burgeoning interest in iconology, I…

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Sacred Art in Secular Terms

Last year I was invited to speak at the Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference.  The event was going to be quite open to the public and was dealing with the notion of Truth, the truth seen in different walks of life.  I was asked to speak about the truth in art and discuss my own…

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The Mosaic Apse of Sant’Apollinaire in Classe, Ravenna

THE MOSAIC APSE OF SANT’APOLLINARE IN CLASSE, RAVENNA:  A Miracle of Design Aidan Hart There is some iconography that can only be described as miraculous. Such is the sixth century apse mosaic at the basilica of Saint Apollinare in Classe, five miles from Ravenna, Italy. Such works seem to flash forth, and are never –…

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