Icon vs. Ikon

By Jaxson

  • Icon

    An icon (from the Greek εἰκών eikōn “image”, “resemblance”) is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, and certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. Though especially associated with “portrait” style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term also covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes.

    Icons may also be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc. Comparable images from Western Christianity are generally not classified as “icons”, although “iconic” may be used to describe a static style of devotional image.

    Eastern Orthodox tradition holds that the production of Christian images dates back to the very early days of Christianity, and that it has been a continuous tradition since then. Modern academic art history considers that, while images may have existed earlier, the tradition can be traced back only as far as the 3rd century, and that the images which survive from Early Christian art often differ greatly from later ones. The icons of later centuries can be linked, often closely, to images from the 5th century onwards, though very few of these survive. Widespread destruction of images occurred during the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 726-842, although this did settle permanently the question of the appropriateness of images. Since then icons have had a great continuity of style and subject; far greater than in the images of the Western church. At the same time there has been change and development.

  • Icon (noun)

    An image, symbol, picture, or other representation usually as an object of religious devotion.

  • Icon (noun)

    A type of religious painting portraying a saint or scene from Scripture, often done on wooden panels.

  • Icon (noun)

    A person or thing that is the best example of a certain profession or some doing.

    “That man is an icon in the business; he personifies loyalty and good business sense.”

  • Icon (noun)

    A small picture that represents something (such as an icon on a computer screen which when clicked performs some function.)

  • Icon (noun)

    A word, character, or sign whose form reflects and is determined by the referent; onomatopoeic words are necessarily all icons. See also symbol and index.

  • Ikon (noun)

    alt form of iconreligious image.

  • Icon (noun)

    a devotional painting of Christ or another holy figure, typically executed on wood and used ceremonially in the Byzantine and other Eastern Churches.

  • Icon (noun)

    a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration

    “this iron-jawed icon of American manhood”

  • Icon (noun)

    a symbol or graphic representation on a screen of a program, option, or window.

  • Icon (noun)

    a sign which has a characteristic in common with the thing it signifies, for example the word snarl pronounced in a snarling way.

Oxford Dictionary

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