Orthodox Christian Iconography: Significance, Symbolism and Creation

Author: Lizzie Knudsen
Major: Psychology
Approved: Spring 2017
Status: Completed

The practice of Orthodox Christian iconography is a sacred art that has been preserved and upheld for almost 2,000 years. The rich tradition behind the creation of an icon is one that does not vary over time or between artists, and yet each icon has a life and purpose of its own. My project will include two major components, background research on the significance and history of iconography within the Orthodox Church, but more importantly, a hands-on experience of creating an icon start to finish. During this process I will gain a firsthand understanding of the spiritual journey that accompanies writing an icon, and develop comprehensive knowledge of the symbolism that exists in iconography. Ultimately, I will be able to articulate what makes the experience of writing an icon so personal and unique, given that their creation means working within a set of strong conventions that do not encourage personal distinctions.