icon

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

icon

icon [Gr. eikon=image], single image created as a focal point of religious veneration, especially a painted or carved portable object of the Orthodox Eastern faith. Icons commonly represent Christ Pantocrator, the Virgin as Queen of the Heavens, or, less frequently, the saints; since the 6th cent. they have been considered an aid to the devotee in making his prayers heard by the holy figure represented in the icon. The icon grew out of the mosaic and fresco tradition of early Byzantine art (see Byzantine art and architecture). It was used to decorate the wall and floor surfaces of churches, baptisteries, and sepulchers, and later was carried on standards in time of war and in religious processions. Although the art form was in common use by the end of the 5th cent., early monuments have been lost, largely because of their destruction during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843; see iconoclasm). Little has survived that was created before the 10th cent. Byzantine icons were produced in great numbers until 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire. The practice was transplanted to Russia, where icons were made until the Revolution (see Russian art and architecture). The anonymous artists of the Orthodox Eastern faith were concerned not with the conquest of space and movement as seen in the development of Western painting but instead with the portrayal of the symbolic or mystical aspects of the divine being. The stiff and conventionalized appearance of icons may bear some relationship to the two-dimensional, ornamental quality of the Eastern tradition. It is this effect more than any other that causes the icons in Byzantine and later in Russian and Greek Orthodox art to appear unchanging through the centuries; there is, however, a stylistic evolution in Byzanto-Russian art that can be seen through variations of a standard theme by local schools rather than through the development of an art style by periods. The term icon came to mean "subject matter" in the 19th-century German school of art historical study, and from this meaning were derived the terms iconography and iconology.

See A. Schröder, Introduction to Icons (tr. 1967); K. Weitzmann et al., ed., A Treasure of Icons (tr. 1968); H. Skrobucha, The World of Icons (tr. 1971); D. and T. T. Rice, Icons and Their History (1974).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

icon
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.