To facilitate the consultation of the oriental religious icons on sale on our religious shop, we classified them in the four subcategories above. To see the list of icons for each subcategory, just click on the icon.
These religious icons are an image glued on a carefully prepared wooden plate with a neat finish. Most of the icon models have the back of a hole, to be wall-mounted. This hole is notched to facilitate its centering. You can also expose it on an easel. In the 'accessories' section you will find the different models that we offer. There is something for all sizes.
By browsing the various pages of our site where are presented the Eastern icons, some people may be unpleasantly surprised to find representations of Greek icons and orthodox icons. In this we must not see a religious relativism, but simply the recognition of the common religious values shared by the Orthodox churches and the Catholic Church. It must not be forgotten that for more than a millennium the Eastern Church and the Western Church had the same faith and that the canons that the painters were to follow were written before the Eastern schism. On the other hand, the orthodox icon represents Christian mysteries, the Trinity, the incarnation, the Theotokos, which bring into play truths of faith shared by Catholics and Orthodox; therefore in orthodox icons the Catholic finds something to nourish his faith. Moreover, in the Eastern churches united to Rome, there is this same veneration for the icon as in the Orthodox Church. It should not be forgotten that in the Eastern Church the icon is sacred object integral part of the liturgy. In the presence of an orthodox icon, such as the Virgin of Vladimir for example, a Catholic finds himself totally there. The Trinity of Rublev, which is also an orthodox icon, is very much in the honor of Catholics.
Nowadays this painting of icons tends to be democratized because it is no longer limited to the Greek Catholic or Orthodox Church; in the Latin Church many people are interested in the art of the icon; schools exist that teach the technique of the icon, but there is the risk of missing out on the essentials.
Brief history of the religious icon: landmarks
The art of icons originated in the Eastern Roman Empire (Greece, Byzantium, Cappadocia, Syria, Egypt, ..). Iconographic art really began to spread in the 5th century after the Council of Ephesus where Mary was solemnly declared Mother of God, the Theotokos; thus to paint Mary was like an affirmation of the faith of the Church which recognizes two natures, human and divine in the person of the Word, the Christ Jesus, and consequently Mary is really the Mother of a Son who is God. But because of the iconoclastic period, about a century (730 - 850), a very large part of the Greek icons realized before the victory of Orthodoxy (843) were destroyed; we therefore have few icons earlier than this date.
The Muslim invasion put a brake on the art of icons in Greece and Byzantium (fall of Constantinople in 1453), but Russia has ensured the relief of the Greek icon. From the tenth century the icon had penetrated into this country that opened to Christianity. Soon enough Russia was able to develop its own iconographic language and the icon became an essential element of the religious life of the Russian Orthodox as evidenced by the impressive number of icons that this country has.
It is normal that the practice of icon painting is very much in the spotlight in the monastic milieu, for example on Mount Athos, because it requires in addition to talent an intense spiritual life lived in the Church, nourished of Theology. The iconographer is like a theologian by image and asks the artist for faith.
The Russian orthodox icon
It is with the evangelization of the Rus' that orthodox icons begin to appear according to the tradition of Greek icons . The apogee of the Russian orthodox icon is at the end of the 14th century and the 15th century with painters like Theophane the Greek, Andre Rublev, perhaps the most famous with his icon of the Trinity and Denys. But from the 17th century begins the decadence of the Russian orthodox icon by an influence of Western art. The patriarchs of Moscow opposed this influence but without much success.
Role and meaning of the icon
What strikes at first glance in these religious icons is the lack of realism: disproportion at the level of bodies, lack of perspective. the icons correspond to official rules which, from the 9th century, regulate the choice and arrangement of the scenes. This should not be interpreted as a degenerate art, because Byzantine Christian iconography, Russian Orthodox or Catholic, seeks above all to transmit a spiritual message, a spiritual experience, from the image and colors, to make us discover the mystery of God, the Son of God incarnate. Eastern Byzantine and Russian icons invite the viewer to discover the theology of incarnation. Vision of God, the religious icon must provoke the prayer in the one who contemplates it. Do not reduce the icon to a simple religious image. It is the fruit of the meditation of the artist who calls the viewer himself to contemplate the invisible become visible. Thus, the icon in the Christian East is more than an artistic work, it plays primarily a leading theological role as evidenced by the Eastern Catholic or Orthodox churches. In the Byzantine rite the icon is often praised and carried in procession. She is theology in image and announces by color the good news of the Gospel.
Understanding an icon whose realization obeys certain rules or canon, requires some knowledge of these rules. For this we started to complete each icon sheet for sale on our Christian shop, with a description and a comment to enter the mystery of the Greek icon or the orthodox icon.