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in Greek: εικωνογραφια or εικονογραφια?

o-mega or o-micron?

Omega. Check your lexicon.  :) --Rdr. Andrew 11:19, 11 Mar 2005 (CST)

Egyptian masks

Christianity was instituted by Jesus or Word of God or God, the Creator of Universe. I don't think that God needed to be inspired by gurus that are simple men, or by Egyptian religion or other religions as some nonsensical ideas claim. Do you? Who comes when people ask for God The man in the movie probably did not ask for knowing best Christian denomination. The ones I know about asking, arrived at Estern Orthodox Church.--Pasadi97 16:21, January 27, 2013 (HST)


Question. How is the copyright of an icon determined? Some of the icons are basically reproductions of ancient icons. I'm sure that those icons are governed by other national or international laws or public domain. I have noticed that some icons are copyrighted by a particular church, but why wouldn't they be copyright the iconographer. Can someone explain this?

Incidentally, I have noticed that the OCA has a number of icons. We have used them here. Recently I sent an e-mail to the OCA regarding a particular icon. I cannot find this icon for sale anywhere and wondered if they knew where it came from. They didn't know where the icon came from and believed that the icon was possibly made at the Sofrino workshops outside of Moscow.

I was told that I could always save the icon and print out a copy for framing or laminating. Is this not some kind of copyright violation or does it qualify as fair use? I know that this is an extremely common practice.

They also said that the icons they display come from parish churches, files sent by readers, books, and catalogues. If they don't know where they get the pictures from is that not a copyright problem?

Joe 22 Dec 2005 13:26

Re: Icons and Copyright

Hi Joe,

I don't claim to be an expert in this, but my impression is that icons are not copyrighted (legally, I suppose the copyright would default to the author, but ecclesiologically speaking I can't imagine this) -- but the images, photos, reprints, etc. of icons are. This is all the more the case with the ancient icons.

I think printing out a copy for personal use would definitely fall under fair use whatever the case. I can't imagine that anyone would want to stop you from that, especially if you can't buy a copy. But, for example, it wouldn't be fair to copy all of HTM's icons to your own site, because this is their livelihood. I think a lot of copyrigt law is just common sense -- although some of it can be counterintuitive... and here, with icons, were balancing an ecclesiastical culture with a certain attitude of free use (for those who use them appropriately) or corporate ownership (i.e. God and the Church). This is certainly an interesting question. I suppose there have been articles written in legal journals on similar issues. Maybe a lawyer can help us (though this is more a curiosity than an issue I'm bruningly concerned about).

As far as is concerned, I think that as long as we have their permission to use an image from their site, I'm comfortable just citing the source. If in doubt too, we could always put "unverified" on it.

May others would want to chime in here too. Yours, — FrJohn (talk)

RE:RE: Icons and Copywright

Actually I do know several iconographers who have copyrights to their images. It is best to check and see if you can locate the writer if he or she is a modern one and ask permission. I don't mind people using my work for chuch bulletins and so forth. But if a person or a church is trying to make money off of reproductions of a living iconographers work, then you have a problem. It's not that iconographers mind the work being used for prayer and such, but if other people are attempting to make money of what you are doing, it can make a hard life even harder. That is why a lot of modern iconographers do copyright their images. It is a careful balance of doing work for the glory of God, but having to make a living off of it (which is difficult}. All icons are built upon the work of God essentially and the best icons are still sums of all the previous writers. I don't think copyrighted the image is a way of negating this. But in modern times when someone can photocopy your work so easily, and try to profit from it, you have to ask whether they are trying to spread icons, or trying to make money off of it even though they didn't do any work. Supporting the current icon writers by buying an icon from them or one of their reproductions ensures that we will continue to have people willing and able to make icons. On the otherhand, finding a beautiful icon and being unable to locate a copy, well I'm sure that in the end, money and copyright issues aside, the most important thing is worship and veneration, and no iconographer would probably be unhappy to know you venerate with a copy of his or her work. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Frogmanman (talkcontribs) 23 Dec 2007.

Various Iconographers - for a future article

Following is a list of "iconographers" (as I remember them) that can be used to develop an article (when more information is available):

  • Theophanes the Greek - "Theotokos of the Don", 14th Century
  • Nikita Pavlovets - Theotokos in the Enclosed Garden, 17th Cenutry
  • Radul of Serbia - Ss. Kosmas and Damianos, 1673
  • Nicholas Ritzos (15th Cenutry)
  • Ioannis Kornaros, Cretan iconographer who painted the portable icon of “Megas i Kirie” (Lord, Thou Art Great) of 1770 at Moni Toplou (West of Siteia, Lasithi of Crete).
  • Frangos Katelanos (sp?) - Christ the Pantocrator, 1548 (Balkans)
  • Andrei Rublev - Christ the Redeemer, 1409 (Russian)
  • Simon Ushakov - Christ 'Not Painted by Human Hands', 1657 (Russian)

Tips concerning the Nine Choirs of Angels & authoring the icons of Angels

This is excerpt is from p18 of The Painter's Manual of Dionysus of Fourna as translated by Paul Hetherington, it was posted on an Orthodox thread 1 by a "Mary Halloran Snyder" who is studying iconography and is using this material as part of her Iconography research materials. It answers a lot of icon related questions on how to "author" the angels:

There are nine choirs of Angels as shown by Dionysus the Areopagite, and they are divided into three orders.
The First Order Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim. Thrones are represented as fiery wheels with wings all around and with eyes in the wings, they are all entertwined in the form of a king's throne. Cherubim have one head only and two wings. Seraphim have six wings of which two cover their faces, and two their feet and the other two as if spread for flight; in their hands each has a fan on which are these words; "Holy Holy Holy" it was like this that the prophet Isaiah saw them. The tetramorphs are represented thus: they have six wings and upon their heads each have a crown, they have the faces of angels, and they hold the Gospels before their breasts with both hands. Between the two wings above their heads there is an eagle, while there is a lion between the wings on their right, and an ox between those on their left. These animals look up and hold the Gospels their their feet. They appeared thus to the prophet Ezekiel.
The Second Order that is to say, rank -- Dominations, Powers, Virtues. These are represented wearing robes down to their feet, with girdles and greenish gold stoles, and holding golden rods in their right hands and in their left a seal with this sign (a circle with an x in it)
The Third Order -- Principalities, Archangels, Angels. These are represented wearing soldier's clothes with golden girdles. They hold spears in their hands of which the tops are pointed and have blades like axe heads."

Can we incorporate this information into the "iconography article" in any way before it is lost into the nothing land? Vasiliki 00:30, December 19, 2008 (UTC)

I don't really see how detailed instructions on how to paint icons is really appropriate for an encyclopedia article. OW isn't a how-to manual. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 02:02, December 19, 2008 (UTC)
and OW Users are not robots with a PHD in everything intellectual ... I propose a rewording of your response:
Thank you for this information. Unfortunately it is not strictly encyclopedic rather it is more instructional in its nature ... However, keep up the good work - I notice you make a genuine effort to contribute to OW! Signed ASDamick!
Merry Christmas dear Father Andrew .... Signed (your worst nightmare - lol) Vasiliki 02:40, December 19, 2008 (UTC)
Silly Vasiliki—never propose a "rewording" to someone with a degree in English literature. Such people are incapable of receiving such hard sayings. I meant what I said and wrote it as I meant to.
That is definately me .. silly :) As a person who does not have a degree in English literature that is exactly why I CAN propose a rewording because I am not bound by rules that I dont know about anyway (Do-Ya get me?) Vasiliki 03:10, December 19, 2008 (UTC)
As to being my "worst nightmare," well... let us just say that you will have to try much harder if that's your aspiration. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 02:50, December 19, 2008 (UTC)
Well, like we said above I am a "literary" Fool-for-Christ ... errm (correction) I aspire to literally be a Fool-for-Christ (not a "worst nightmare") Vasiliki 03:10, December 19, 2008 (UTC)

Written or Painted?

AS it has been determined, icons are written, not painted. So, the caption under the Apostle Luke "painting" the first icon should be changed to WRITING. Thanks, --Iliada 02:10, March 15, 2009 (UTC)

Determined? By whom? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 20:49, March 15, 2009 (UTC)

Well, icons, as you know, are more than just religious art. These "windows to heaven" depict the very men and women who have achieved theosis. They were made for the illiterate. St. John of Damascus said, "What the book does for those who understand letters, the image does for the illiterate." As the scriptures are written, so are icons, as they teach us in a similar manner of the Bible. (I am participating in the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, and my topic is about icons, that's where I get all of my information). --Iliada 00:47, March 16, 2009 (UTC)

I agree with your theological point here, but I'm still not sure why this means that painted is a bad translation and written is the correct one. (There is no difference between the two words in Greek—indeed, there is only one word—so an insistence on a difference in English is, by definition, an innovation.)
Church architecture, chanting, and preaching also accomplish this same sort of thing in other ways, yet, to my knowledge, there are no objections against building, singing, preaching, etc.
Anyway, see the section of the article on this particular question. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 11:11, March 16, 2009 (UTC)

Ok, then there must be a change made on the Theotokos of Tikhvin page, because it says that it is believed to be an icon "written" by the apostle Luke. The same applies to the Theotokos of the Passion, and the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West (Antiochian) pages. Also, for my speech, I said that some people think that Luke wrote the first icon, and others think it was when St. Veronica placed a cloth to Christ's face. But here I see that Ainaius did it in a similar fashion. Which of the two not by hands happened first? --Iliada 18:11, March 17, 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, so changed.Wsk 20:36, March 17, 2009 (UTC)

There's really nothing wrong with saying that icons are "written." It's the insistence that they are not "painted" which makes no sense. Either translation is faithful to the Greek, though in different ways. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 01:21, March 19, 2009 (UTC)

Dead Link to Russian Icons

The external link to the Russian Icons gallery here: returned a 404. I found this one on the Auburn site: and it looks like the same page (according to googles cache of the original link.) I changed it on the main page, but could it be possible that ~mitrege does not want it linked to from here? Joey1978 04:42, June 6, 2009 (UTC)