Sacred Doorways: A Beginner's Guide to Icons

Sacred Doorways A Beginner s Guide to Icons By Linette Martin A review from Publisher s Weekly For most Christians in the West icons are intriguing but opaque enigmatic and perhaps a little frightening In an accessible and loving introduction

  • Title: Sacred Doorways: A Beginner's Guide to Icons
  • Author: Linette Martin
  • ISBN: 9781557253071
  • Page: 283
  • Format: Paperback
  • By Linette Martin A review from Publisher s Weekly For most Christians in the West, icons are intriguing but opaque, enigmatic and perhaps a little frightening In an accessible and loving introduction to the ancient devotional art form, the late Martin, who studied art history at Oxford University, manages to make icons intelligible without denuding their mystery PartBy Linette Martin A review from Publisher s Weekly For most Christians in the West, icons are intriguing but opaque, enigmatic and perhaps a little frightening In an accessible and loving introduction to the ancient devotional art form, the late Martin, who studied art history at Oxford University, manages to make icons intelligible without denuding their mystery Part reference work and part inspirational meditation, the book opens by sharing little known characteristics of icons Next she offers a helpful chronology, usefully chronicling the various periods of Byzantine art, and limning the history of Russian icons One very concrete chapter catalogues the materials and techniques of icon making, explaining the role of egg tempera and gesso in producing the often dark, matte pictures The most eloquent and capacious chapter is that on prayer Icons, Martin tells us, are not merely inspiring works of art, but are made for the distinct purpose of prayer Indeed, this chapter goes beyond instructions about icons to a moving meditation on prayer itself The small but densely packed volume is rounded out by an appendix of international icon collections, and a helpful bibliography Only occasionally does the book turn didactic and over encyclopedic chapters five and six, which define basics like iconostasis and diptych, feel plodding Martin s work, which nicely complements Henri Nouwen s classic reflection on icons, ought to become an indispensable part of any Christian library Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc A review from Booklist Many appreciate and admire icons while failing to understandthem, which isn t surprising because iconography is a complex subjectwith thousands of years of history Martin aims to increaseunderstanding of what icons convey She defines icon and describesan icon s purpose examines the visual language that is iconography according to her, the earl

    One thought on “Sacred Doorways: A Beginner's Guide to Icons”

    1. This is an great introduction to the history and methods of iconography. It would be a great resource for a catechumen who wants to learn how to interpret the visual language of icons. However, it is written by someone who is not Orthodox and while her insights are often right on target there were also many times that she missed the point. So I would recommend it to Orthodox Christians with a grain of salt, but anyone solely interested in icons from an artistic view would most likely find this b [...]

    2. This was a wonderfully sensitive introduction to Icons and their use. As an evangelical who has only attended an Orthodox service a couple of times but is interested in the meaning and use of icons - this book was at just the right level to move me forward. It covers (all at a intro level) the history of icons, their visual language as well as sections on the making of icons; the materials and process. Each section adds depth and meaning to this practice and the book is topped off by chapters lo [...]

    3. I've been interested in icons for years, but experienced difficulty finding information that wasn't dry & scholarly, and excessively wordy. I wasn't so interested in period & technical information as the spiritual, meditative, and creative aspects, and the layers of metaphor and association incorporated in writing them. I'm not from an Orthodox Church background, nor do my ancestors come from countries where icons are traditionally used. For this reason I'm unfamiliar with the pictorial [...]

    4. A simple introduction to icons and their use. Martin's language is accessible and her observations helpful. Those with a working understanding of icons will want something meatier, but this is a great tool for beginners.

    5. The book was good but in several instances, the author shared a rather bigoted view of the world and with her faith. I think this could have been done without personal opinion just beautifully. But she has passed away and it's rather irrelevant now.

    6. Great introduction to icons but I was looking for something a little more Would be great for someone not already practicing prayer with icons for a long time.

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