Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Open mouth in iconography

mary of egypt open mouth

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Peter Simko

Peter Simko

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 April 2016 - 01:38 PM

Should icons of Saint Mary of Egypt receiving the Eucharist have her mouth open?  See the links below:

http://www.orthodoxa...as-s1367006.jpg

 

http://www.royaldoor...t-Communion.jpg



#2 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 April 2016 - 05:39 PM

I assume it shows her ready to receive the holy gifts.



#3 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,821 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 April 2016 - 07:57 AM

Not only is St Mary shown with her mouth open, but she is also shown in profile, a depiction usually associated with evil or malevolent figures.

 

This is an example of an icon of St Mary and Venerable Zosima, which avoids this sort of depiction:


0401mary-egypt04.jpg

 

Another class of icons which involve the receiving of communion is that of the Communion of the Apostles. This icon type shows Christ in bishop's vestments at the centre, with six of the apostles at His left and right. Christ is holding the bread/Body in one hand, a chalice in the other. In some compositions, the scene is depicted on two panels. In one, Christ faces six of the apostles in line to receive the Body (St Peter is usually first to receive), in the other, Christ faces the other six, with the first apostle in line (usually St Paul) about to partake of the Blood.

 

I do not recall any instance of any of the apostles being painted with an open mouth in such icons.



#4 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 April 2016 - 08:14 AM

The depiction in icons of people in profile may also apply to incidental figures such as the woman washing the newly born Christ Child, and the figures of shepherds, in icons of the Nativity of Christ.



#5 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,821 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 April 2016 - 08:32 AM

The depiction in icons of people in profile may also apply to incidental figures such as the woman washing the newly born Christ Child, and the figures of shepherds, in icons of the Nativity of Christ.

 

This is quite true, which is why I had said "usually". But regarding the matter in question, St Mary is hardly an "incidental" figure. ;)



#6 Loucas

Loucas

    Contributor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 April 2016 - 12:47 PM

I've read several topics here about certain icons. Almost all are questioned, I believe, because the rule or Canon is not observed. It seems to the point by Olga, if I may assume it is your point, there are clear and accepted rules or canons outlining the writing of icons. This is why when we see something that is out of sync with what is accepted it does not set well with us, it prompts question, and does not feel at all Holy. Truly Mary of Egypt is far from incidental a major figure in our path to salvation, go to Church this Sunday when we collectively venerate her life and find out why.



#7 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 April 2016 - 03:27 PM

The point has clearly emerged that depicting St Mary in profile and with open mouth is not to be preferred.



#8 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 April 2016 - 07:27 PM

Orthodox iconography is not realistic, it is 2 dimensional.

#9 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 April 2016 - 07:42 PM

I would not describe the style of icon painting as two-dimensional; rather, by the technique of inverse perspective, space is represented in a mystical way which involves the spectator rather than, as in western perspective (which is not as realistic as people may assume because it assumes monocular vision), drawing the spectator into an illusion of natural space.



#10 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,028 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 16 April 2016 - 12:19 PM

It is worth adding, I think, that inverse perspective is not a mathematical opposite of linear perspective; not all lines in an icon which features, buildings, thrones, and so forth, converge on one point outside the picture plane but there are multiple points and also the tipping forward of some planes in the icon.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users