Throughout history, religious icons have been objects of considerable intrigue, and this book provides an attractive and informative guide to the stories behind them .
The painted panels made for use in Byzantine and Orthodox churches and for prayers at home are perhaps the most effective and enduring form of religious art ever developed, and also perhaps one of the most mysterious. The imagery found within them can be appreciated on both a religious and a secular level.
This book looks at icons in the context of the history of Christianity and examines all aspects of the production and power of this distinctive art form. Based on an analysis of British Museum examples that have been carefully studied by restorers, Robin Cormack explains how icons were made, framed and displayed. He explores their subject matter, showing how scenes can be identified and how the iconography developed over the centuries and examines the role of portraiture.
Icons is illustrated mainly with Cretan, Greek and Russian examples from the British Museum, which holds Britain’s foremost collection of icons.
About the Author
Robin Cormack has been a faculty member of the University of London since 1966 and has taught courses in classical art, Byzantine art and Russian art. He retired from the Courtauld in September 2004 and became Leverhulme Emeritus Research Fellow at the Courtauld. His numerous publications include Byzantine Art (Oxford University Press).