"VIEW The Mother of God and the Saints" Orthodox Christian Icons at Maryhill Museum of Art
“... the result of centuries of spiritual life, Christian experience, genius, and work. The iconographers who developed them regarded their work as awesome, like the dogmas of the true Faith, and they worked with humility and piety on the models that had been handed down to them by earlier iconographers, avoiding all inopportune and inappropriate changes. Through long elaboration, these various representations were freed from everything superfluous and inconstant, and attained the greatest and most perfect expression and power.”
In 1926, Queen Marie of Romania traveled to the Pacific Northwest to dedicate Maryhill Museum of Art for her friend Samuel Hill. She carried with her a variety of art objects that became the nucleus of the museum’s permanent collection. Included in this material were some fine Russian icons. The icon collection has since grown—through donation and purchases—and now includes more than 25 items.
“Icon” is the Greek word for “image” and Orthodox Christian icons contain information that is presented in a concentrated visual format. Through the use of formal techniques and specific symbolism, they direct the hearts and minds of worshippers toward God. Icons are not merely decorative religious paintings; they are sacred objects that connect people to the figures that they portray. The ancient church affirmed that icons “partake of the nature of the original.” The images facilitate a two-way interaction: when individuals venerate them and use them for prayer, they receive spiritual benefit through the efficacy of the pictured people and events. This online exhibition includes icons with representations of the Mother of God and select Christian saints. They include Russian, Greek, and Romanian examples created in a variety of styles dating from the 18th century to the early 21st century.
Visit the website www.maryhillmuseum.org