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Re: Books on Icons

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  • Anthony J. Bryant
    ... While on the subject, here s a short biblio on icons from a CA I m sporadically working on. If anyone has any questions, let me know. When I m not doing
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 25, 2001
      Dmitriy wrote:

      > A couple of people asked me about icons at Pennsic -- the books in English
      > I've come across are:
      > Hamilton, George. "Art and Architecture of Russia" , Yale University Press.
      > (get the latest edition -- 1983, I believe). Lots of black-and-white photos
      > & reproductions, and the first half of the book deals with pre-1700s.
      > Avinoff, A. Russian Icons and Objects of Ecclesiastical and Decorative Arts
      > Kondakov, "The Russian Icon" -- it's an abbreviated translation of a
      > 4-volume work, but what the hey.. hard to find.

      While on the subject, here's a short biblio on icons from a CA I'm sporadically
      working on. If anyone has any questions, let me know. When I'm not doing SCA or
      school stuff, I'm being a mundane iconographer.

      An Icon Painterユs Notebook: The Bolshakov Edition. Trans. and ed. by Gregory
      Melnick. Torrence, CA. Oakwood Publications. 1995.
      This is a presentation of the Bolshakov podlinik. Excellent notes and
      iconographersユ instructions.

      An Iconographerユs Patternbook: The Stroganov Tradion. Trans. and edited by Fr.
      Christopher P. Kelley. Torrence, CA. Oakwood Publications. 1992.
      This is a reproduction of the famous Stroganov podlinik, with translations of
      the original iconographersユ instructions.

      An Iconographerユs Sketchbook: Drawings and Patterns. Vol. 1: The Postinkov
      Collection. Trans. and commentary by Gregory Melnick. Torrence, CA. Oakwood
      Publications. 1977.
      The patterns came from two 19th C. Russian podliniki, published by the St.
      Petersburg Archaeological Institute. Excellent patterns for iconography, with
      very useful information.

      Coomler, David. The Icon Handbook. Templegate Publishers. Springfield, IL. 1995.

      This book has some interesting information on some very unusual icons; many of
      the icons herein, although based on actual models, are considered uncanonical
      and are good studies but not as objects of devotion. On the other hand, many of
      the patterns are perfectly acceptable. The samples herein are a real mixed bag.

      Drevnerusskaya Zhivopisユ v Sobranii Ermitazha (Early Russian Paintings in the
      Hermitage). Iskusstvo. St. Petersburg, Russia. 1992.
      Save for a three-page summary in the back, the text is all in Russian. Still,
      this coffee-table book is chock-full of wonderful iconography. An excellent
      resource. There are also several sample pages from illuminated texts.

      Icons: Art and Devotion. Intro. by T. Talbot Rice. Studio Editions, Ltd. London.
      This is an excellent study of full-color icons. It is often available at book
      superstores like Barnes and Noble.

      Izobrazhenniya Bozhiej Materi i Svyatykh Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi (Images of the
      Mother of God and Saints in the Orthodox Church). Izdanie Khrama Spasa
      Nerukotvornovo Obraza. Moskow. 1995.
      This is a modern podlinik; the illustrations ム all line drawings ム are all
      perfectly clear and well-done. An excellent source.

      John of Damascus, St. On the Divine Images. Trans. by David Anderson. St.
      Vladimirユs Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY. 1980.
      This is considered one of the definintive texts on the theology of the icon, by
      one of iconoclasmユs greatest opponents.

      Kalokyris, Constantine. [The Essence of] Orthodox Iconography. Holy Cross
      Orthodox Press. Brookline, MA. Preface dated 1965: Copyrighted, but no date.
      An excellent slender volume. There is a discrepancy in title between title page
      and cover. It helps if the reader is familiar with Greek, as Prof. Kalokyris
      sprinkles Greek-language text among his verbiage like a Hellenic Johnny
      Appleseed. Quite a few B&W illustrations of seldom-seen iconographic mosaics.

      Ouspensky, Leonid. Theology of the Icon. 2 vols. Trans. by Anthony Gythiel. St.
      Vladimirユs Seminary Press. Crestwood, NY. 1992.
      This is the most comprehensive introduction (at two volumes!) on the theology
      and history of iconography by one of the most influential iconographers of this
      century. While it is of little use to one who merely wishes to paint, it is of
      enormous value to one who wants to understand and appreciate the icon for what
      it is.

      Sandler, Egon. The Icon: Image of the Invisible. Trans. by Fr. Steven Bigham.
      Oakwood Publications. Torrence, CA. 1981. 1993 impression.
      This is the best single volume on the how-toユs and history of iconography. It
      contains many plate samples of existing icons, but it is not a podlinnik. If you
      are interested in iconography and can afford only one title, it should be this

      Smirnova, E.S. Moskovskaya Ikona XIVミXVII Vekov (Moscow Icons of the 14thミ17th
      Centuries). Aurora, Leningrad. 1988.
      This is a coffee-table book full of fine examples of historical iconography.

      The メPainterユs Manualモ of Dionysius of Fourna. Trans. by Paul Hetherington.
      Oakwood Publications. Redondo Beach, CA. 1983.
      This is the written instruction from one of the most famous Byzantine-style
      iconographers, the monk Dionysius of Fourna, in the early 1800s. Although the
      work is post-Period, we must remember that iconography canons were unchanging,
      so Dionysiusユs book is worth study.

      The Glory of Byzantium. Ed. by Helen C. Evans and William D. Wixom. The
      Metropolitan Museum of Art. NYC. 1997.
      This was the catalogue of the 1997 special exhibition at the Met of Byzantine
      arts and artefacts. This is a fantastic sourcebook for such arts, but it also
      contains color plates of some very rare and wonderful icons, some out of their
      monasteries for the first time in centuries. Itユs expensive, but if you are
      interested in Byzantine art, get this 570-page, full-color book and get it now.

      Theodore the Studite, St. On the Holy Icons. Trans. by Catharine P. Ross. St.
      Vladimirユs Seminary Press. Crestwood, NY. 1981.
      With On the Divine Images of St. John of Damascus, this text, from the
      iconoclastic period, is one of the great theological discussions on icons.

      Wonderworking Icons of the Theotokos. Trans. by Archpriest Feodor S. Kovalchuk.
      Catholic Publishing Co. Youngstown, OH. 1985.
      This tiny volume funcitons as a podlennik, presenting dozens of patterns for
      icons of the Theotokos, and provides a sketched history of each prototype. Very

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