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Submitted by Guest on Sep 22nd, 2014
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Jul 8th, 2016
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An icon (from Greek εἰκν eikn "image") is typically a painting depicting Christ, Mary, saints and/or angels, which is venerated among Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and in certain Catholic Churches. Though especially associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term is also used for most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative secenes.

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. Icons are often illuminated with a candle or jar of oil with a wick. (Beeswax for candles and olive oil for oil lamps are preferred because they burn very cleanly, although other materials are sometimes used.) The illumination of religious images with lamps or candles is an ancient practice pre-dating Christianity.

Although common in translated works from Greek or Russian, the English term "iconography" does not mean "the art of icon painting", and "iconographer" does not mean an artist of icons, which are painted or carved, not "written", as they are in those languages.

Comparable tubidy mobile images from Western Christianity are generally not described as "icons", although "iconic" may be used to describe a static style of devotional image.
 
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