Getting to know the art of hagiography

The art of hagiography as an expression of adoration and deep faith of the Christians has appeared since the early post-Christian years, blooms though in the post Byzantine years, when we meet important testimonies for the traditional way of icon manufacturing. Hagiography is the representative interpretation and the supplement of Divine Service and the Holy Bible, with which the Church narrates the lives of the Saints, shows the holy and hallowed figures and more generally makes the invisible points visible with symbols, representations and intellectual messages, drawing her subjects from the Gospels and the Saint - Holy Texts and the traditions of
Orthodoxy.

The picture is the effigy, the reproduction of reality with the attribution of persons, historical events or allegorical scenes via a figurative art, mainly painting. In the hagiography there is a harmonic collaboration between art and theology, thus the picture, founded in the doctrine of incarnation, reveals with forms and colors what the Holy Bible declares. In this way, hagiography is rendered for a type of literature to the believers, an open book, a progressive initiation to the doctrines and the truths of religion.

According to the tradition, the first picture was not-handmade, but created in a miraculous way by Jesus Christ himself and was constituted as a model to all the later pictures. Evangelist Lukas is considered to be the first historical hagiographer.

The Byzantine artists of hagiography cultivated and developed an excellent technique, rendering with their work a medium of unstoppable continuity and tradition of centuries.

In the art of hagiography, which is frugal and simultaneously admirably comprehensive, nothing is accidental. Each material that is used constitutes offer to the Divine total participating in the mystery of Divine Service. Thus we will meet materials which are humble, earthly, blessed, which with their material sweet smell bring out the spirituality, playing their own symbolic role in the depiction of Saint Figures. Timber, on which the picture is painted, earthly colors, egg and vinegar as conjunctive materials of colors, wax for the maintenance of timber, honey and raki.

The depiction of Saints is symbolic, since they are forms that exceed the earthy space and time. Figurated forms are followed that give to the work high spirituality without allowing it to downrate into a simple representation of a secular person.

Contrary to the painting of West after the Renaissance, the light springs out from the persons themselves, transmits their internal extramundane shine and finally identifies with the color. With the deliberate lack of prospect that removes the depth, the spectator becomes the only recipient of all the forces of inner color - light.

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