Icon and Word: The Power of Images in Byzantium : Studies Presented to Robin Cormack
Antony Eastmond, Liz James, Robin Cormack
Ashgate, 2003 - Art - 301 pages
Icons are traditionally regarded as timeless, motionless and eternal: windows onto Heaven. But it is not enough to simply wonder at their unchanging portrayal of divinity. How did they work? What did Byzantine culture want icons for? In what ways did Byzantines conceive these images as more meaningful and more powerful than simply pictures? What was the nature of the divinity of icons? Icon and Word brings together the work of a group of scholars to re-examine these notions. The resulting papers demonstrate the dynamism of the image in the medieval world. They explore not just what an icon is, but how it functions in different contexts, periods and cultures, and look at images in a broad range of media, in addition to the traditional format of painted panels: ivory carvings, manuscript illuminations and monumental wall paintings. questions about the power and significance of icons in a range of different cultural contexts - Rome, Cairo, the Medieval West and Byzantium. Others look specifically at the nature of the Byzantine icon within its own society, above all in the years after the Iconoclast Dispute, a dispute that established the place of icons within Orthodox religion forever. Icon and Word discovers the power and significance of icons, and why they mattered so much in Byzantium that the Empire was in uproar for over a century.
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