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Sacred Doorways: A Beginner’s Guide to Icons

Linette Martin

“[This...]is first and foremost a practical book, by a student for students, not a technical work for scholars, professional art historians, and theologians. We hope that it will appeal to people new to the subject, those who have been intrigued by seeing icons in collections or churches, who have perhaps encountered Byzantine frescoes and mosaics on their travels and would like to know more. Basically, this is a book about how works of art were made, about materials[...], and a guide to the most important subjects found in Orthodox iconography, and what they mean. This last necessarily involves understanding something about the beliefs of Orthodox Christians, which the icons celebrate and express, and we hope there is sufficient theological dimension provided.”


List of Illustrations
Publisher’s Acknowledgment
   Living Doors • Time to Look
ONE What Are Icons?
   Any Materials, Any Size, and Not Only Religious
TWO Their History
   When Were Icons First Made? • Periods of Byzantine Art • Russia and Icons • Changing Styles and Subjects
THREE The Icon Makers
   Alchemy • The Artist and His Assistants • Craftsmen Known by Name • Donors • Guilds
FOUR Materials and Techniques
   Introduction: The Limitations of Raw Materials • Colors and Pigments • Drawing the Design • Egg Tempera • “Frames”/Panels • Gesso • Gilding • Icon Covers • Jewels and Gems • Manuals and Patternbooks • Measurements • Mechanical Reproduction • Metalwork • Mordants • Painting the Icon • Panel Preparation • Repainting and Copying • Restoration • Stencils and Templates • Tones and Highlights • Various Media for Icons • Varnishing
FIVE Portable Icons and Painted Panel Icons
   Icons Made to be Worn • Folding Icons • Miniature Icons • Processional Icons • Relic Boxes
SIX Several Pictures Together
   Calendar Icons • Family Icons • Hagiographical Icons • Iconostasis • Icons in Icons • Six-Day Icons
SEVEN Visual Language
   Introduction: Iconography • Hiring a Craftsman to Follow Iconography • Animals • Arc of Heaven • Arms, Very Thin • Arrested Movement • Body Language • Buildings in Icons • Classical Details • Clothes • Colors • Craggy Rocks • Drapery • Enlarging and Reducing • Evangelists’ Symbols • Furniture • Haloes • Handheld Objects • Hands, Divine and Human • Inscriptions • Landscape • Mandorla • Nails in the Cross • Narrative Details • Numbers • Optical Correction • Outer Darkness • Particularity • Personification • Perspective • Picture Space • Praying Figures • Profile • Proportions • “Provincial” Style • Regional Schools • Scale, Hierarchy of • Side of Blessing/Side of Judgment • Simultaneous Narration • Skull • Stars on the Virgin’s Veil
EIGHT God, Angels, and People
   Rublev’s Trinity Icon • God the Father • God the Son • God the Holy Spirit • Christ Pantocrator • The Holy Face • Orders of Angels • Virgin Mary • How to Recognize Saints • Hermits, Abbots, Monks, and Nuns • Holy Fools • Bishops • Priests and Deacons • Children • Satan and His Angels
NINE New Testament Scenes in Icons:
      The Festal Cycle
   Introduction: Twelve Feasts • Annunciation • Nativity • Presentation in the Temple • Baptism of Christ • Transformation • Raising of Lazarus • Entry into Jerusalem • Communion of the Apostles • Crucifixion • Spice-Bearing Women • Anastasis • Ascension • Pentecost • Life and Death of the Virgin • Last Judgment
TEN The Special Qualities of Icons
   Direct Communication • Observing Faces in Icons • The Quality of Light in Icons • Time and Place • Respecting Icons • The True Context of an Icon • Getting to Know an Icon
ELEVEN Icons and Prayer
   Looking at Icons in Silence and Stillness • What Is Prayer? • The Terrain of Icons, the Terrain of Prayer • Prayer Is Not Safe Because God Is Not Safe • Fearful Love • Looking at God in Icons • Time and Place • Praying Without Words • The Sense of Sight • Praying with Icons • A Reflection
TWELVE Windows of Eternity:
      The Theology of Icons
      Nicholas Gendle
Appendix: Where Do You Go from Here?
      Icon Collections Worldwide

Item Number: BKPCP715
Publication Data: Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2002
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: xviii + 259
Dimensions (l × w × h): 20.4 cm × 13.3 cm × 1.8 cm
Additional Information: full-color illustrations
ISBN: 1‒55725‒307‒2

$21.95 (USD)


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