Questions about iconography...

AMM

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this is probably a dumb question (I'm good at those), but is it appropriate to ask for someone to give you an icon? I thought I'd heard before somewhere that one isn't supposed to buy an icon for oneself, and this isn't really that different. For my chrismation, my priest said they'd provide a cross, but if I wanted an icon of St Jerome that was up to me. I was thinking about asking my parents if they'd get me an icon of him, especially since they might not make it to my chrismation.
 
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~Anastasia~

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this is probably a dumb question (I'm good at those), but is it appropriate to ask for someone to give you an icon? I thought I'd heard before somewhere that one isn't supposed to buy an icon for oneself, and this isn't really that different. For my chrismation, my priest said they'd provide a cross, but if I wanted an icon of St Jerome that was up to me. I was thinking about asking my parents if they'd get me an icon of him, especially since they might not make it to my chrismation.
I think that's a bit of a pious custom some adhere to, but it's not any actual rule. I have icons that are gifts, and some I've bought myself. And I've gifted them.

You can ask, certainly, especially if people would like to know what you might want to receive as a gift. But if you don't receive it as a gift, you can certainly be free to buy it yourself.
 
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AMM

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In Catholic images of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she is usually wearing blue, or she is wearing a red shirt with a blue cover/coat/covering. In Orthodox icons of the Theotokos, she is in red, or she has a blue shirt with a red covering. Does anyone know the symbolism behind the colors, and why the east and west depict Mary differently?
 
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prodromos

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I've heard two explanations. One is that the blue represents her humanity and the red signifies she is clothed in divinity, while Christ is red underneath (divinity) clothed in our humanity (blue)
The other is that the red signifies the flesh (blood) and Mary bore Christ in her womb (blue - divinity). I know that the mineral used for blue pigments in icons was difficult to obtain and very expensive, but my understanding was that the blue pigment used for cloth was inexpensive and readily available.
I realise this doesn't answer your question. I suspect one was the original meaning but the other somehow became the defacto understanding.
 
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AMM

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I've heard two explanations. One is that the blue represents her humanity and the red signifies she is clothed in divinity, while Christ is red underneath (divinity) clothed in our humanity (blue)
I think I'd heard that before... it sounds familiar. But I have an icon of St John the Baptist which depicts him wearing a red hair shirt under a blue robe, so idk.

The other is that the red signifies the flesh (blood) and Mary bore Christ in her womb (blue - divinity). I know that the mineral used for blue pigments in icons was difficult to obtain and very expensive, but my understanding was that the blue pigment used for cloth was inexpensive and readily available.
I realise this doesn't answer your question. I suspect one was the original meaning but the other somehow became the defacto understanding.
that's interesting - this one is new to me. Still interesting. The more I learn about iconography the more I realize how complex and meaningful it is
 
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~Anastasia~

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Sometimes icons that are irregular or uncanonical are produced too, so just because we see something doesn't make it right. That said, icons of the Theotokos sometimes show her clothing in green and/or orange. (I'm thinking some Slavic traditions?) and I think they are acceptable that way?

There's a LOT I find I don't know, even though I've read about it. I can easily be corrected by iconographers. So I try to ask, but not answer. :)
 
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AMM

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Does an icon have to be “good enough” to be used? Like how recognizable does the depiction have to be? Idk if this makes sense.

I ask because I attempted to draw an icon the other day, based on an icon I found online (though I can’t remember the exact one I used as reference), and came up with the attached. I can’t help but notice the flaws in my icon, ways in which it looks different from others. But is it still something I could use in prayer?

6CCFE749-5A2B-41F6-8663-4986B41B32C8.jpeg
 
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AMM

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for private use, if an icon was made with prayer and helps you pray, I am sure it's fine. my in-laws have some from when my wife was a kid.
Is there a more rigorous process I assume for public usage?
 
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nutroll

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Does an icon have to be “good enough” to be used? Like how recognizable does the depiction have to be? Idk if this makes sense.

I ask because I attempted to draw an icon the other day, based on an icon I found online (though I can’t remember the exact one I used as reference), and came up with the attached. I can’t help but notice the flaws in my icon, ways in which it looks different from others. But is it still something I could use in prayer?

View attachment 265199

Saint Theodore the Studite in his third refutation of the iconoclasts says: "Even if we grant that the image does not have the same form as the prototype because of insufficient artistic skill, still our argument would not be invalid. For veneration is given to the image not insofar as it falls short of similarity, but insofar as it resembles the prototype."

It seems like an icon to me. I would say that if you want to do more it would be good to find someone to teach you, but regardless it's wonderful that you have a desire to draw closer to holy things.
 
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AMM

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Saint Theodore the Studite in his third refutation of the iconoclasts says: "Even if we grant that the image does not have the same form as the prototype because of insufficient artistic skill, still our argument would not be invalid. For veneration is given to the image not insofar as it falls short of similarity, but insofar as it resembles the prototype."

It seems like an icon to me. I would say that if you want to do more it would be good to find someone to teach you, but regardless it's wonderful that you have a desire to draw closer to holy things.
Thank you for the input. I appreciate it, coming from a “real” iconographer. I actually live about half an hour from an icon studio... the icon studio of St Alypij (?) at St Maximos the Confessor Skete, with Father Mefodii, a Bulgarian monastery. I need to reach out to him - I have been meaning to go visit just to see the place after a liturgy.
 
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Brighid

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I'm just learning about icons and having some confusion about their use. On the one hand, I understand that they are sacred and an aid to prayer, but I also see them being used decoratively (like on Calendars, book covers, blog posts and memes).
Should we be seeing icons all the time (like in memes)?
Also, is it ok to place an icon as decoration in one's house, or should an icon be used only in the "prayer corner"?
Thanks :)
 
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AMM

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My two cents (which are probably worth less than that) --
great to have them for prayer
good to have them around the house outside of the prayer corner
fine to have them as pure decoration
not appropriate to have them for memes, t-shirts, etc.
 
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ArmyMatt

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I'm just learning about icons and having some confusion about their use. On the one hand, I understand that they are sacred and an aid to prayer, but I also see them being used decoratively (like on Calendars, book covers, blog posts and memes).
Should we be seeing icons all the time (like in memes)?
Also, is it ok to place an icon as decoration in one's house, or should an icon be used only in the "prayer corner"?
Thanks :)

decorative? yes, and they certainly can be all over the house. but they are never mere decorations.
 
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nutroll

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