What are the icons?
Entering the church, we see a huge numberdifferent icons that are placed in a certain order on the walls. We are thinking about which icons to put a candle on for the rest, what kind of health, to whom to pray, for illness to go, for the well-being of children, for luck in business, for peace in the family, for love. To begin to understand the great variety of holy faces, it is necessary to find out what icons are and for what they are.
Main types of icons
Yes, indeed, there are many icons, but they all shareinto several basic species. On each wall of the church you can see that the icons are grouped into compositions, some icons are always in the center (iconostasis), others are on the edge, top or bottom (zaamvonnye). So the first division of icons - by location. Closer to the iconostasis are always the icons of the Savior and the Mother of God. The icon of the Holy Trinity is also always located in the center. On the sides and closer to the entrance (entrance) hang icons of all Saints, Apostles, Martyrs, Righteous.
Further, the division of icons occurs according to the plot, bythe number of characters on the icon, the number of compositions in one icon, style and technique (typical of individual painting schools), in size. All these features are inherent in the icons that are in the church, but the main principles are also observed in the home iconostasis.
The tradition of placing icons at home is now almostare not observed by anyone, but they were venerated at the beginning of the last century, before the active planting of atheism. In every house there were all kinds of icons that were supposed to have a housekeeping. It was a family icon, that is, one that was passed on from generation to generation. Then, at the birth of each child, a measuring icon was ordered and hung. It should show the patron saint, he was drawn on a board, which in size was equal to the height of the child at birth. Necessarily hung the wedding icon, which was blessed and crowned by the young. And for everyone living in the house, they placed the name-bearing icon, that is, with the image of a saint, whose name is called the person.
Also at home were the iconic icons that were given withyourself in the way of a traveler. And the outward icons were called by those who took with them to the procession. There were still obedient icons, they were written when someone gave a promise of something and wanted to consolidate his word forever.
Plots of icons
Each icon has its own story, which is taken fromThe Bible. Studying what icons there are, you can get acquainted with their main kinds. These are icons of the Holy Trinity, where there is always God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, depicted as a white dove. Further on the significance are the Christological icons. These are the icons depicting Jesus Christ, and the numerous events from his life described in the Gospel. In these icons a separate group stands out for "passionate" icons, in which the events of the passionate week have reflected their reflection. The Virgin icons depict the Virgin Mary, the events from her life, as well as the feasts of the Virgin. The Mother of God is depicted as one, and with an infant in her arms. These are the main types of icons, in Europe they are called the icons of the Holy Family. But on this variety of church paintings do not end, there are icons of saints, bodiless forces, festivals, various events of the history of the church, etc.
Number of characters and stories
The number of characters on the icon can be any - from oneand two (main), to a huge number (multi-figure compositions). But on the composition of the icon there are one, two, and multi-part. In this icon there is a central composition that is surrounded on all sides by one row or even several rows of secondary compositions. Usually on these icons there is a text that tells about any period of life or history of the area. There is, for example, an icon about Peter and Fevronia, which tells the whole story of their divine union. Such icons are more like modern comics, but the icon painters forgive for comparing. But they also have pictures and explanatory text.
Plots on icons are many, but they are very oftenRepeated, although the icons are different. It largely depends on the school where the icon was made. The main schools of iconography: Kiev, Novgorod, Moscow, Vladimir-Suzdal, Pskov, Rostov-Yaroslavl, Greek, Serbian, etc. In the history of the iconography, such independent masters stand out: Andrei Rublev, Theophanes the Greek, Dionysius. Each school had its own preferences in the technique of making icons, it's picturesque, embroidered, cast, carved, printed, folded (of several stacked boards). There are also mosaic icons, tempered, applied to plaster.