Tue, 7 Nov

7 pm

Icon painting

Lecture by Loukas Seroglou

45 min
Participation with valid museum ticket

Icon painting is the best-known sacred art form and oldest religious legacy of Western Christianity. Parallels in painting technique between the icon and ancient Egyptian, Japanese, Indian, or Buddhist painting will be pointed out.

The beginnings of icon painting date back to the time of the portraits of the dead known as “Fayum portraits” from the Hellenistic-Roman period in Egypt around 20 to 400 CE. The portrait of the deceased was made during his lifetime on a wooden plate covered with linen cloth and then attached to the head of the mummies with linen bandages. It was meant to keep the memory of the deceased alive and one could help his soul enjoy a better life in the afterlife through prayers and offerings. This custom was continued by Christians until, around the fourth century, it became a purely sacred art; first for ecclesiastical dignitaries, later for Christ and Mary, and then for the saints. Thus the word icon means “venerable, adorable image of the deceased saints”.

Iconographic representations are always found where the first Christians came together to strengthen their faith, e.g. catacombs. These early Christian images are very much based on the Greco-Roman ideal image, where Christ is shown in the likeness of the young Orpheus or the god Apollo. In the early centuries, churches were decorated with frescoes or mosaic images and it was only with the advance of Islam that portable icons gained importance, reaching their peak in Byzantium around 1000 CE. After the conquest of the Byzantine Empire by Islam, the various schools of icons emerged.

Loukas Seroglou is a painter and writer. Born in Athens in 1945, he came to Vienna as a scholarship holder and worked as an architect for thirty years (AKH, PVA, AVA, Franz Josef Bahnhof, etc.), as well as a qualified tourist guide for Austria and Greece. Painting has always been his passion; he learned the art of icon painting from monks on Mount Athos. His literary activity includes treatises on philosophy, religion, metaphysics, poems, prose, fairy tales, etc.

An event of the Weltmuseum Wien Friends. The Weltmuseum Wien Friends association offers a variety of advanced events to all those interested in the contents of the Weltmuseum Wien, such as object discussions, special guided tours, excursions as well as film and photo lectures.

Duration: 45 min.
The lecture is free of charge (valid museum ticket required, free entrance for members of the Weltmuseum Wien Friends)
Registration: friends@weltmuseumwien.at
Meeting Point: WMW Forum

Fayum und Ikone © Seroglou
45 min
Participation with valid museum ticket

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