5 Practical Ways Russian Iconography Benefits Modern Society
Some people still consider Russian iconography a thing of the past. As time goes by, it becomes obvious that religious icons are an essential part of Orthodox Christianity and human life. Furthermore, the influence of sacred art is now felt far outside the religion. Its resources are effectively used by the so-called secular strata of societies as well. Let’s take a look at the productive symbiosis of the world of antique Orthodox icons and modern society.
Five practical ways Russian iconography benefits modern society
1. Centerpiece of spiritual life
Hundreds of millions of Christians use holy icons every day for communicating with God. People tend to have home iconostasis and even individual pocket icons with the images of saints. It is what impregnates people’s minds with peace and love. In other words, icons are a cornerstone of people’s spiritual lives that directly influence their physical—or material—well-being.
2. Historical context
When it comes to the history of Russian iconography and icon painters, historians can extract a lot of useful knowledge to explain different historical processes. Not only is it about theology and the development of Orthodox iconography, but it is also about prominent historical figures and the life of common people.
3. Inalienable part of visual art
Religion and art share many in common. To start with, they have been developing side by side over centuries. Many classical paintings are, in fact, inspired by themes and scenes from the Bible. Besides, art was greatly influenced by the Church during the Middle Ages when the clergy had all the instruments of power.
4. Advertising ethics and morality
Russian iconography is rich in symbolism. Every scene or story depicted in the icon has a moral that everyone can explore and learn something new. To put it in modern terms, religion advertises ethics and morality, and icons are great beacons retranslating the importance of virtues among all people.
5. Blue-chip investment
Nowadays, antique Russian icons are a popular investment option on the auction market. Most outstanding auction houses, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, offer collectors the rarest pieces of religious art. People are waging bidding wars to obtain a unique or special icon, to say nothing of numerous sales of holy icons at less popular auctions.
Over the years, Russian iconography has successfully integrated into society. Nowadays, antique religious icons mean more than just aesthetics. These works of art help people open new horizons and explore knowledge that has been long locked and unavailable.