NEW BOOK on FESTAL ICONS OUT NOW!
‘FESTAL ICONS: History and Meaning’ by Aidan Hart
456 pages, 320 colour illustrations, 275mm x 215mm, Hard cover, £45. Gracewing Publishers. ISBN 9780852449493
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This long-awaited book on the icons of the fourteen major feasts of the Orthodox Church is the most comprehensive work on the subject in the English language. Richly illustrated, it first describes how each feast developed over time, then maps how their icons evolved from the early centuries, and finishes with a detailed examination of each festal icon’s most recognizable form. This story encompasses not only panel icons, but also frescos, mosaic, metalwork, embroidery and reliefs carved in stone, ivory and wood.
Christian feasts such as Christmas and Easter form the weft of the Christian year, for Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican alike. The book reveals how festal icons are a heritage common to both western and eastern Christendom, the opening chapter charting this interrelationship between east and west in their development.
This study draws together recent scholarship and the warmth of faith. It is an invaluable reference book for all those interested in delving deeper into the world of icons, be they newcomers or scholars.
What some have said about the book:
“Festal Icons: History and Meaning takes a refreshing and welcome approach, moving from historical context to the renewal of the tradition today. Aidan Hart marshals his deep knowledge of the underlying theology of icons and their symbolic content as well as their use in liturgical and festival settings through the ages. Sumptuously illustrated with icons he created (‘prayer without ceasing’, as Hart has said of his process), as well as a veritable museum of comparative images, this new book will be an excellent addition to any sacred art bibliography or syllabus.” (Dr Kathryn R. Barush, Associate Professor of Art History and Religion Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California)
“An illuminating and richly illustrated discussion of the evolution and symbolic structure of some of the most familiar narrative icons of the Eastern Christian tradition. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Hart systematically explores the theological meanings and social history of the fourteen major icons of the liturgical year, known as Feast or Festal icons. Written by a renowned iconographer and teacher of iconography, Festal Icons: History and Meaning is alive with fresh insights, offering new layers of understanding for art historians, iconographers and iconophiles alike.” (Dr Sophie Matthiesson, Senior Curator, International Art Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki)
TECHNIQUES OF ICON AND WALL PAINTING – New edition with index!
'TECHNIQUES OF ICON AND WALL PAINTING: Egg Tempera, Fresco, Secco' by Aidan HartThe most comprehensive book to date on the techniques of icon and wall painting, this work has established itself as the seminal work on the subject. A Polish translation is now published, available via Amazon. 460 pages. Over 450 colour illustrations and over 160 drawings. 227mm x 278mm. Hard cover, £40. Gracewing Publishers. Second edition, now with index, 2015.
click here to preview the book nowThis is the most comprehensive book to date on the techniques of icon and wall painting. Illustrated by over 450 colour ilustrations and over 160 drawings, it is a source of pleasure and inspiration for the general reader as well as for the practising icon painter. More than just a technical manual, it sets artistic practice in the context of the Church's spirituality and liturgy, with chapters on the theology and history of the icon, and the reasons behind the placement of wall paintings within churches.
An index for the book is now available to downloaded here.Some comments: "I know of no comparable work in the English language that deals with the technique of icon painting in such a thorough and comprehensive manner. Yet, while concerned with technique, the treatment is never merely technical. At every point we see how technique reveals a transfigured world. Spirituality and technology are combined together, so that each illuminates the other." From the Preface by Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan of Diokleia "The wealth of information in this book makes it an indispensable reference not only for iconographers but also for any painter using egg tempera, fresco or secco. It covers all the necessary processes, including the making and gessoing of wooden panels, gilding, preparing pigments, the various techniques for painting in tempera, as well as lime plastering and fresco, right through to photographing finished artwork." From the Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales "This book makes known to us a craft, but more importantly it is the Confessio of a man who epitomizes the liturgical beauty of the Orthodox Church. He is full of joy and this same joy he communicates to us: with his heart he loves, and with his hands he fashions matter. He uses pencil, brush, chisel. He carves wood and stone, works with metal. He fashions form and colour. He manifests the Spirit. And he confesses that 'The Word became flesh'. Thus you see not only how a holy icon is made within the Church, but also how the human person made as an icon of God struggles to become holy." Archimandrite Vasileios, Iviron Monastery, Mount Athos, Greece "Aidan Hart combines the vision of the contemplatitive with the skill of a gifted artist. For those many people for whom Icons are a door into the divine there cannot be a better guide." Dr. Richard Chartres, Bishop of London "An icon is visual theology, the Word of God. It can only be written in truth by one who seeks and loves this holy Word. Aidan Hart understands this to the depth." Sister Wendy Beckett, contemplative nun and author on art
BEAUTY SPIRIT MATTER
'BEAUTY SPIRIT MATTER: Icons in the Modern World' by Aidan HartA long awaited collection of essays on contemporary issues as seen through the theology of the icon, covering subjects such as ecology, the role of the material world in the spiritual life, beauty, the revival of liturgical art, the nature of the human person, and abstract art. 240mm x 170mm 256pp + 32pp colour plates. UK ISBN 9780852447826, Australian ISBN 9781781829882. RRP £14.99. Gracewing Publishers.