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Iconography

305 bytes added, 18:04, October 22, 2005
"Written" or "painted"?
While the explanation of the purpose and nature of icons is certainly true and consistent with the Church's [[Holy Tradition]], there is a linguistic problem with the insistence on the word ''written'' rather than ''painted''. In Greek, a painted portrait of anyone is also a '''γραφη''' (''graphi''), and the art of painting itself is called '''ζωγραφια''' (''zographia''). Ancient Greek literally uses the same root word to refer to the making of portraits and the making of icons, but distinguishes whether it is "painting from life" (ζωγραφια) or "painting icons" (εικωνογραφια). Thus, from a linguistic point of view, either all paintings—whether icons or simple portraits—are "written" or (more likely) "painted" is a perfectly usable English translation, simply making a distinction between the painting appropriate for icons and that appropriate for other kinds of painting, just as Greek does.
 
 
 
 
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