Author Topic: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography  (Read 1247 times)

Offline Livenotonevil

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Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« on: July 07, 2018, 12:57:24 PM »
I've tried to ask over on the Orthodox forum about this question, but like me, it's a question that enters into the mind and then you forget about it when you actually have the capability to find an answer to the question.

But considering that the West in liturgical artwork doesn't have this question or issue, and the East does, I'm sure that perhaps there are more Byzantine Catholics who have asked this question, as encounters with Western artwork are surely more common.

The question is the following: Why in Eastern Iconography does Christ, after His Resurrection, not have His wounds in His body in most iconography?

For example:







And we know that Christ didn't get rid of those wounds. He has Saint Thomas touch them.

In the West, it seems pretty clear as to why there's almost never a case where the artist forgets - after all, the West liturgically has put an emphasis on Christ's Passion compared to the East - but if it's not the case of an artist forgetting, then why? Is there a theologically symbolic reason behind it?
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 11:26:24 PM »
As you know, but I will say for those reading who may not, icons do not depict historical truth, but spiritual truth. Thus, for example, Saint Paul is depicted in icons of Pentecost, not because he was there, but to indicate that he possesses the same apostolic authority as the others.

In icons of Our Lord, the wounds are present in icons of events between the Crucifixion and the Ascension, such as the Entombment of Christ or of Thomas's doubt. The wounds are depicted in these icons to teach that Christ's Passion, Death, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension were real, tangible, corporeal events. No Docetism, no "transhistorical event," no "unable to be seen by a video camera" – nothing less than his true human body suffering, dying, and rising again.

However, after the glorification of Christ in his Ascension, and in all icons of Christ apart from those connected with the Passion and Resurrection, his sacred wounds are not depicted because the icons are teaching that Christ's human body has been sanctified and perfected through the Paschal mysteries.

Likewise, saints are generally not depicted with physical infirmities to teach the same thing: in the resurrection and the glory of heaven, every imperfection is healed, perfected, and sanctified in Christ. Thus, John the Baptist holds his head in a platter, yet also has his head still attached to his neck – not that he had two heads, but that he is made whole in Christ. Even saints who wore glasses are properly not depicted with them. Certainly icons can be found where this is not true, but this is not according to the best practice. Icons of Western saints, especially those produced by Catholic artists, are often ignorant of this rule and do things like depicting the stigmata of St. Catherine of Siena or St. Francis; strictly speaking, this is inappropriate. The one exception to this is St. Mary of Egypt, who is always shown to be at least somewhat emaciated.
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 11:36:50 PM »
Certainly icons can be found where this is not true, but this is not according to the best practice. Icons of Western saints, especially those produced by Catholic artists, are often ignorant of this rule and do things like depicting the stigmata of St. Catherine of Siena or St. Francis; strictly speaking, this is inappropriate.

You don't think that Christ or St. Francis will have their stigmata in heaven?
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 11:42:15 PM »
Certainly icons can be found where this is not true, but this is not according to the best practice. Icons of Western saints, especially those produced by Catholic artists, are often ignorant of this rule and do things like depicting the stigmata of St. Catherine of Siena or St. Francis; strictly speaking, this is inappropriate.

You don't think that Christ or St. Francis will have their stigmata in heaven?

I don't know. I'm only talking about the iconographic convention.
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 09:21:18 AM »
Christ retained his wounds in His glorified body post-Resurrection as revealed in Scripture, and ascended in the same; yet: Icons without the wounds intend to focus on His divinity and extra-time dimensionality as God:
http://www.monachos.net/conversation/topic/3513-why-do-most-icons-of-christ-not-depict-nail-holes/
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 05:18:26 PM »
I'm thinking it is probably the same reason Prots don't use the Crucifix.
 

Offline Livenotonevil

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 08:27:25 PM »
Yeah, because



the West



never



used



Byzantine



iconography



ever



in it's



churches



ever



especially without the hole marks, who would think of such a travesty







« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 08:32:38 PM by Livenotonevil »
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Offline Livenotonevil

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2018, 08:33:53 PM »
Also, good job offending more than half of the Eastern Catholics whom you are in communion with.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 08:46:04 PM by Livenotonevil »
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 09:58:07 AM »
ΠΙΣΤΟΣ Ο ΛΟΓΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΣΗΣ ΑΠΟΔΟΧΗΣ ΑΞΙΟΣ, ΟΤΙ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΗΛΘΕΝ ΕΙΣ ΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟΝ ΑΜΑΡΤΩΛΟΥΣ ΣΩΣΑΙ: ΩΝ ΠΡΩΤΟΣ ΕΙΜΙ ΕΓΩ
 

Offline Livenotonevil

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May God forgive me for my consistent sins of the flesh and any blasphemous and carnal desire, as well as forgive me whenever I act prideful, against the desire of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit.
 
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Offline Patriarch

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 06:39:52 PM »
The West pretty much abandoned all Iconographic convention. It is retained within Orthodoxy; not so with Rome.
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 08:16:32 PM »
Patriarch, are you being tempted to relapse into schism?

Icons that depict Christ with His Holy Wounds after the Resurrection lay the emphasis that the same Christ who was wounded and pierced for our sins is now risen in that same Body. Icons which are more focused on the Resurrection do not depict the Wounds so much. If I wanted an icon or statue of the Resurrected Christ for a church, I would order one with the holy wounds. Yet, if someone else has the icon without wounds, that is ok also. These are trifles and not issues to create schisms over. Just the other day, I went to a Syrian Catholic Church, where they have statues of Our Lady; on the website, they have icons both of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as well also of the ancient Our Lady of Perpetual Help, painted by St. Luke. The devotion to this icon was very popular in the East before it spread in the West, where it is retained with devotion to the present day. As one Catholic family united in the bonds of faith and love, Latin, Greek, Syrian and other Catholics share the same Faith and deign in their own way to give it diverse artistic expressions.

Catholics ought never to create a schism over Icons depicting or not depicting Wounds after the Resurrection, or Leavened and Unleavened Bread, or other such trifling issues. What is schism and how does it originate, according to the Fathers? We know heresy is a sin directly against faith, and indirectly against love. But schism originates above all as a failure to love, and only indirectly affects faith. They are deprived of God of His light and fall into schism who never learned to love, and who put their own selfish or trifling desires above the common good of the universal Church. So speaks St. Irenaeus: "He shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, [positively] destroy it — men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel. Matthew 23:24 For no reformation of so great importance can be effected by them, as will compensate for the mischief arising from their schism. He shall also judge all those who are beyond the pale of the truth, that is, who are outside the Church; but he himself shall be judged by no one." http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103433.htm And so too St. Augustine: "The Church does not communicate with heretics and schismatics. With heretics, because She loves God, and with schismatics, because She loves neighbor." Our Eastern Catholic brethren are fully Catholic. But the Eastern Orthodox remain in schism, until they are reconciled to Rome.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 09:39:54 PM by Xavier »
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Please read the Blessed Mother's promises in the link: those who make it seriously will face no Purgatory (promise 5) since they would have completed it here, will have all their loved ones released from Purgatory the day they offer their life with intent to persevere (promise 4), and can save the souls of all their family members in due time by their life offering (promise 3). It will benefit all souls who have ever lived until time's end (promise 2) A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. Inflamed in Large Letters of Love, you will have your name written in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary forever (promise 1).
 
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Offline Livenotonevil

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 10:07:47 PM »
The West pretty much abandoned all Iconographic convention. It is retained within Orthodoxy; not so with Rome.

Eh, to be fair, there is still some iconographic convention there in the West, particularly when it comes to Stained glass windows.

And the Orthodox Church is run by humans who unfortunately abandon iconographic convention at points too.

I mean, this, a stained glass window of Saint Patrick from a Roman Catholic Church:



Follows the convention of iconography to a greater extent than this, which is the main painting of the Cathedral of the Russian Patriarch.



Although, yeah, the Renaissance really screwed everything up though in the West, and a lot of these aberrations in Orthodoxy come from the Western Captivity, and in the west, the theological symbolism of the artwork is long since been abandoned for sensual pieces of art that focus on the corpse rather than the soul.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 10:19:38 PM by Livenotonevil »
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Offline Livenotonevil

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 10:22:19 PM »

Catholics ought never to create a schism over Icons depicting or not depicting Wounds after the Resurrection, or Leavened and Unleavened Bread, or other such trifling issues. What is schism and how does it originate, according to the Fathers? We know heresy is a sin directly against faith, and indirectly against love. But schism originates above all as a failure to love, and only indirectly affects faith. They are deprived of God of His light and fall into schism who never learned to love, and who put their own selfish or trifling desires above the common good of the universal Church.

I'm sorry, who excommunicated who?

"Humbert, cardinal bishop of the holy Roman Church by the grace of God; Peter,
archbishop of Amalfi; and Frederick, deacon and chancellor, to all the children of the catholic
Church.
The holy, primary, and apostolic see of Rome, to which the care of all the churches most
especially pertains as if to a head, deigned to make us its ambassadors to this royal city for the
sake of the peace and utility of the Church so that, in accordance with what has been written, we
might descend and see whether the complaint which rises to its ears without ceasing from this
great city, is realized in fact or to know if it is not like this. Let the glorious emperors, clergy,
senate, and people of this city of Constantinople as well as the entire catholic Church therefore
know that we have sensed here both a great good, whence we greatly rejoice in the Lord, and the
greatest evil, whence we lament in misery. For as far as the columns of the imperial power and
its honored and wise citizens go, this city is most Christian and orthodox. But as far as Michael,
who is called patriarch through an abuse of the term, and the backers of his foolishness are
concerned, innumerable tares of heresies are daily sown in its midst. Because like Simoniacs,
they sell the gift of God; like Valesians, they castrate their guests and promote them not only to
the clergy but to the episcopacy; like Arians, they rebaptize those already baptized in the name of
the holy Trinity, and especially Latins; like Donatists, they claim that with the exception of the
Greek Church, the Church of Christ and baptism has perished from the world; like Nicolaitists,
they allow and defend the carnal marriages of the ministers of the sacred altar
; like Severians,
they say that the law of Moses is accursed; like Pneumatomachoi or Theomachoi, they cut off the
procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son
; like the Manichaeans among others, they state that
leave is ensouled (animatum)
; like the Nazarenes, they preserve the carnal cleanness of the Jews
to such an extent that they refuse to baptize dying babies before eight days after birth and, in
refusing to communicate with pregnant or menstruating women, they forbid them to be baptized
if they are pagan; and because they grow the hair on their head and beards, they will not receive
in communion those who tonsure their hair and shave their beards following the decreed practice
(institutio) of the Roman Church.
For these errors and many others committed by them, Michael
himself, although admonished by the letters of our lord Pope Leo, contemptuously refused to
repent. Furthermore, when we, the Pope's ambassabors, wanted to eliminate the causes of such
great evils in a reasonable way, he denied us his presence and conversation, forbid churches to
celebrate Mass, just as he had earlier closed the churches of the Latins and, calling them
"azymites," had persecuted the Latins everywhere in word and deed. Indeed, so much [did he
persecute them] that among his own children, he had anathematized the apostolic see and against
it he still writes that he is the ecumenical patriarch. Therefore, because we did not tolerate this
unheard of outrage and injury of the first, holy, and apostolic see and were concerned that the
catholic faith would be undermined in many ways, by the authority of the holy and individuated
Trinity and the apostolic see, whose embassy we are performing, and of all the orthodox fathers
from the seven councils and of the entire catholic Church, we thus subscribe to the following
anathema which the most reverend pope has proclaimed upon Michael and his followers unless
they should repent.
Michael, neophyte patriarch through abuse of office (abusivus), who took on the monastic habit
out of fear of men alone and is now accused by many of the worst of crimes; and with him Leo
called bishop of Achrida; Constantine, chaplain of this Michael, who trampled the sacrifice of
the Latins with profane feet; and all their followers in the aforementioned errors and acts of
presumption: Let them be anathema Maranatha with the Simoniacs, Valesians, Arians,
Donatists, Nicolaitists, Severians, Pneumatomachoi, Manichaeans, Nazarenes, and all the
heretics — nay, with the devil himself and his angels, unless they should repent. AMEN, AMEN,
AMEN.
"

Despite all of this libel and unsubstantiated claims (forcing rebaptism, selling the Eucharist, castrated priests, and forbidding pagan women from Baptism, Michael Cerularius trampling on the Eucharist and buying his way into the priesthood, not communicating with beardless priests) and the fact that Michael Cerularius acted in response to "St." Leo IX forcing unleavened bread on Byzantine Churches in Italy, which have used leavened bread for hundreds and hundreds of years (from the time of Saint Peter Chrysologos), us Orthodox are the ones who cause unnecessary schisms.

And you still continue in your worldliness and lack of love with the followers of your church, as your Pope makes a mockery of what has been handed down from the hands of Saint Gregory, Pope of Old Rome himself, which creates apostasy in the souls of countless Roman Catholics and creates schisms with followers of your church (the SSPX, SSPV, and Most Holy Family Monastery come to mind), for what? Socio-political power, as it was in 1054 and is today.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 10:39:53 PM by Livenotonevil »
May God forgive me for my consistent sins of the flesh and any blasphemous and carnal desire, as well as forgive me whenever I act prideful, against the desire of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit.
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Question for the Byzantine Catholics about Iconography
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 07:39:44 AM »
By the way,

What is the actual theological justification to represent pictorially God the Father as an old man with beard?

The Son has become incarnate and "is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature" (Col. 1:15). Iconoclastic arguments notwithstanding, there's at least logical precedent in the representation of the Son. However, God the Father is pure spirit and thus, in essence, unrepresentable. How does that work?
ΠΙΣΤΟΣ Ο ΛΟΓΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΣΗΣ ΑΠΟΔΟΧΗΣ ΑΞΙΟΣ, ΟΤΙ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΗΛΘΕΝ ΕΙΣ ΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟΝ ΑΜΑΡΤΩΛΟΥΣ ΣΩΣΑΙ: ΩΝ ΠΡΩΤΟΣ ΕΙΜΙ ΕΓΩ