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Author Topic: Weigh in on this....
daniel
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Yes, and so-called icons of Harvey Milk, Einstein, and Foofy the dog. Yeah, whatever.
But when you have ancient examples, and the example of Mother of God of the Sign, where the Child is shown in a mandorla within the womb, well, it is not so clear is it?
As usual, we probably have another example where well-meaning iconographers can disagree and there is no clear prohibition.
Which is quite another thing than painting icons of people who are not recognized by the Church for their holiness, or worse, who are heretical or immoral or indifferent. Or of another species (?!).

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daniel

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Tom
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Well....I guess I have seen a copy now from the walls of Cyprus. The original was much more subdued and the figures are ghost like and not enclosed in a womb structure. I wonder if that is the only copy in the world or if was a local aberancy or if it exists in other monasterys.

I have to remember that an icon of John Coltrane exists and that does not make it so. (Apparently from the African orthodox church of St. John Coltrane....whatever)

[ 08. May 2009, 04:57 AM: Message edited by: Tom ]

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Tom

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John_Curran
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Daniel, yes, I agree, grotesque and bizarre!

Jill, I can recall seeing a number of icons showing the unborn Christ and the Mother of God, perhaps the difference is the definition of ancient?

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daniel
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Yes, the one showing Christ holding the embryo just seems bizarre. What's more, while the motive of the artist may be noble, he ends up separating the unborn child from his mother; sort of an artistic abortion. An unborn baby by nature is intimately connected to his mother and to show him otherwise is grotesque.
But as for the Visitation icon, I am not sure. As we have ancient icons showing Christ within the womb of the Virgin I don't see the logic of arguing against it...

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daniel

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Jill
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John, the "original icon" from Cyprus does not refer to the composition showing Christ and St John the Baptist as embryos in their respective mothers' wombs, but to the well-known, ancient, and completely canonical one known as The Visitation of the Mother of God to St Elizabeth, which simply shows the two women embracing in sisterly love.

I can assure you that the "icon" of the Virgin and St Elizabeth with their embryos visible is an attempt to use iconography to express a sociopolitical view, namely, anti-abortion. Icons must never be used to promote a cause, however "honourable" that cause may be.

The only ancient icon I know of which shows the unborn Christ is the Ustiug Annunciation, referred to in the Monachos thread. Also on this thread is an image of Christ holding a translucent disc or sphere, containing an embryo. I recommend you read what has been written on this thread criticising this image.

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?p=69806#post69806

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John_Curran
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Here is some additional information. I cannot access the page linked to, which is supposed to show the original icon in a Church in Cyprus.

Presumably one must register with the site first...

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?p=75694

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Tom
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http://www.antiochian.org/sites/antiochian.org/files/MAY%202009%20WORD_0.pdf

I received a copy of the Antiochian Archdiocese magazine yesterday and I am not sure what to think about this cover icon.

It seems to have been painted to illustrate the theme of the articles, though I cannot be sure, and I am almost sure it is not an icon based in antiquity. I believe this to be a fine example of why the the world is confused about what an icon is.

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Tom

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