The Mystical Language of Icons


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SKU 58564~SA-9780802864970 Categories , , , ISBN: 9780802864970.

Theological Book Review
“This beautifully illustrated book provides the reader with and excellent guide to understanding icons….For anyone interested in the production and meaning of icons, this book will be essential reading.”

New Directions
“I guarantee you will not be disappointed by the reproductions in this book of Solrunn Nes’ icons. The colours are vibrant and the faces of the figures arrest the attention of the viewer — as of course they should.”

Dallas Morning News
“Nes offers a fascinating survey of Christian icons … accompanied by full-color images of her work.”

The Mystical Language of Icons by Solrunn Nes

This lavishly illustrated guide to iconography explains through words and pictures the history, meaning, and purpose of Christian icons as well as the traditional methods that religious painters use to create these luminous, spiritually enlivened works of art.

Solrunn Nes, one of Europe's most admired iconographers, illuminates the world of Christian icons, explaining the motifs, gestures, and colors common to these profound symbols of faith. Nes explores in depth a number of famous icons, including those of the Greater Feasts, the Mother of God, and a number of the better-known saints, enriching her discussion with references to Scripture, early Christian writings, and liturgy. She also leads readers through the process and techniques of icon painting, showing each step with photographs, and includes more than fifty of her own original works of art.

Deeply inspiring and utterly unique, The Mystical Language of Icons will inform both those who are familiar with the rich tradition of religious art and those who are not. It also serves as a powerful devotional resource in its own right, one that Christians everywhere can turn to again and again.

Table of Contents:


The Technique of Icon Painting
Beauty and Truth
Art and Sacred Object
The Status and Function of the Icon
Iconoclasm and the Triumph of Orthodoxy
Nicaea II
The Incarnation and the Art of Icons
Motif Range
The Church as Microcosmos
Prefiguration and Hierarchical Model
Celebration and Expectation
Characteristics of Form


Christ Pantocrator
Triptych with Deesis
King and High Priest
Christ Immanuel
Christ Enthroned
The Old Testament Trinity
The Annunciation
The Archangel Gabriel
Mother of God with resting Jesus
The Nativity of Christ
The Presentation in the temple
Christ of Silence
Christ among the Doctors
Our Lady of the Sign
Mother of God Platytera
Mother of God Hodegetria
Our Lady of Tenderness
The Nursing Mother of God
Mother of God Pelagonitissa
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Joseph with the Child Jesus
Simeon with the Child Jesus
The Prophet Elijah
John the Baptist
The Baptism of Christ
The Transfiguration
The Raising of Lazarus
The Entry into Jerusalem
The Mystical Supper
The Agony in the Garden
Processional Cross
The Descent into Hell
The Doubting of Thomas
The Ascension
St George and the Dragon
Daniel in the Lion's Den
The Archangels Michael and Gabriel
The Assembly of the Archangels
Sts Peter and Paul
St Paul
St John the Theologian
St John at Patmos
St Macarios of Egypt
St Nicholas of Myra
St Simeon the Stylite
St Gerasimos and the Lion
St Mary of Egypt
St Gregory Palamas

The new Crucifix in St Paul's Church, Bergen
Curriculum Vitae

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