Icon (Greek εικων, meaning eikón picture) - the image sacred, created in the culture of the Byzantine wyobrażający saints, scenes from their lives, biblical scenes or liturgical and symbolic. Characteristic of the eastern Christian churches, including the Orthodox and Greek Catholic. Documents of the Council of Nicea II 787 mention that there was a tradition of performing icons from apostolic times, but there is no evidence for this history. According to tradition, was the author of the first icons of Luke the Evangelist.
The origin of the icon comes from the portrait painting późnoantycznego. Information about the existence of the icons of Christ, Mary, St. Peter and Paul and other saints can be found for the first time in the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea and Epiphanius of Cyprus in the fourth century. The object of worship have become icons in the fifth century (according to the writings of St. Augustine). Hypatiusz of Ephesus mentions for the first time the bow before the icon in the middle of the sixth century.
During the formation of Christian art, the word "icon" is determined in the Christian East, the countries are under the influence of Byzantium, all performances of Christ, the Virgin Mary, angels, saints, and historical scenes from the Bible, regardless of the technology they were made. In modern times, the term came to be called only mobile images (painted, carved, made of enamel or mosaic), not related to architecture. There are messages from the 2nd half. The sixth century of the miracles performed by the icon. They were always an icon-portraits portable power to perform miracles attributed not historical icons of the content. The oldest icons come from the sixth century monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai.
Icon painting developed in the Byzantine Empire until its collapse in the fifteenth century and in the areas under the influence of Byzantine culture that is in Greece, Serbia, the Balkans, in medieval Italy and Russia. The oldest preserved to the present day icons come from the sixth century. The most representative of this period are especially three works of: St. Peter, Christ Pantocrator and Mary with the angels and the saints Theodore and George. The greatest Russian icon artist Andrei Rublev is considered.
Icons usually painted on a special cedar or cypress wood. There were a holy tree for Eastern Christianity. In Russia used wood or pine bark. The oldest icons painted mainly in technology enkaustycznej (colored wax), which has the sixth century was displaced by the egg tempera (związującym coloring agent is water mixed with egg yolk). Icon painted in tempera consists of four layers: the first is a wooden board with a cloth pasted on it, the other is polished ground with chalk or gypsum mixed with glue, third-paint and gilding, fourth, protective varnish or lacquer-based oil. Sometimes the icon is applied to metal decoration with silver or gold plate with a hole for the face as shown. Icons technique performed well in mosaics, enamels, carved in wood, marble or ivory steatycie. Late nineteenth and early twentieth-century icons painted also in oil. Icon painting was strictly defined in textbooks (Hermeneia Greek, Russian podlinniki), often written by the monks - painters. The tradition was associated not only with the iconography, but also related to the material, surface preparation, special technology, the right color, and even the order of laying layers of paint.
On crafted boards (respectively formed with a recess in the front of which is placed the actual content - the so-called. Kovcheg), reinforced rear brace, applied alabaster chalk-land. On the ground were drawn or redrawn from textbooks outline of the image, and then applied in a specific order paint and gilding. Placed at the end of the subtitles in Greek or Old Church Slavic with the names of saints or explanations scenes (usually placed in the icon. Sacred Names (Virgin Mary, Christ) was placed in the Greek shortcuts (abrewiacjach). Icon of Eastern Christianity is a liturgical text, sakramentale, as well as "the image of the other world", so they could develop without prior preparation of the theological artist, possibly under the strict supervision of a theologian. Important was also the spiritual preparation iconographer (prayer, fasting).
Icon always varnishes, which kept its appearance for about 100 years. Then, due to changes in the color of darkened varnish painting. In addition, it covered a layer of soot from candles. For wyblakniętym, poorly visible image painted sometimes a new one. The icons were decorated with precious stones, with silver hardware or gold plate. Sometimes the cloth used instead of wood or metal. Popularized, especially by Russian and Polish authors, the term "writing icons", stressing the sacred, liturgical character icons. Refers to the process of its formation. According to the researchers to determine that the problem is the result of a mistranslation of the Greek language, from ikonographos where Graphos means both write and paint (hence the Russian ikonopisiec).
In Poland, the icons were created mainly in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, the lands of eastern and south-eastern regions. For standardization of icon painting were books - templates for artists such as the so-called. podlinnik. Included specific technical and iconographic patterns. The oldest manuscript preserved in the form of a copy is dated 1523. The composition consists of an icon of the saint placed centrally framed by scenes connected with his life. Currently, the only active school of icon painting in Poland's College of Ikonopisarstwa in Bielsko Podlaski led by Fr. Leontius mitrates Tofiluka. The school was founded in 1991 and educated in the profession of engineering plastic iconographer.
Also teaches icon painting, Fr. Dr. John Pazgan, Lecturer at the National University of Applied Sciences to them. Witelona in Legnica and Seminary in Legnica, which is an academic priest in the Church. St. Joseph Guardian of the Redeemer in Legnica. He is also the Academic ICON ministry, where he often leads workshops icon painting. Icons are painted with flat paint does not take into account the perspectives, giving the illusion of three-dimensional space. Deprived of classical linear perspective, in many cases, have called. opposite perspective, which is characterized by a convergence of lines in the point located outside the image (as before), which by definition is directed toward the man looking at him. This effect is achieved by setting the appropriate forms and other elements. An example of such an approach to the prospect of Rublev's Trinity, part of the greatest masterpieces of the world of painting.
The importance of controlled object is its size: it is what is most important, and the characters are set up according to a specific order. Icon image is not simply a religion. Painting was a transaction holy icons. Icon, which was created in the monasteries of the Old Rus', painted by the privileged monks, was an emanation of the deity, which resulted in a hand of the creator. Born in prayer, required to work before special posts, was created in the author's kneeling.
Icons are designed to deepen the spiritual life, to enter into prayer. Anonymous author of the icon would help in the right direction to follow. Prayer before the icon associated with a specific ritual: the faithful lit candles in front of icons bow, kiss them.
Icon plays an important role in the cult of the Eastern churches, it is the presentation of the saint, the personification and representation. Provided a link with the sacred, brokered in prayer. It is believed that it is present in a given place thanks to the icon. Clean the colors used for painting, gilding the flame of candles take on a special glow. Candle flame is a symbol of the elevation of the soul to God. Adoration reminds you that not only the soul but also the body should participate in the prayer. Received from God is not worse than the mind and has the right to participate equally in a conversation with God.