Antique Greek Icons for Sale: History and Distinctive Features
For Orthodox believers, icons are of great importance. When turning to the icon with a prayer, the faithful see it as a kind of mediator between themselves and the Lord. Antique icons are considered exquisite examples of religious art, making them valuable in both spiritual and monetary terms. One of the oldest types of these holy images are Greek Orthodox icons that have their own iconographic tradition admired for its sophistication and spirituality. For instance, most antique Greek icons for sale depicting the Blessed Virgin strike with their expressiveness. The way the face of the Holy Mother is painted leaves the viewer with reverent sadness, as it touches the deepest strings of the soul.
In the middle of the 2nd century BC, Greece was under the rule of the Roman Empire, which later split into the Western part with the center in Rome and the Eastern part with the center in Byzantium. Here, iconographic art reached the highest level of development.
Greek iconography does not try to convey the world perceived by the senses naturalistically – it rather refers to the spiritual and immaterial. Antique Greek icons for sale depict not people but faces, hence some conditional character of their execution may be observed.
The characteristic features of the Byzantine style are particularly evident in the depiction of faces using the sankir method of painting, which was widespread in the 12th century. A magnificent example made in this style is the highly venerated in Russia icon of Our Lady of Vladimir.
Among the largest centers of iconography following the Byzantine traditions was Athos. Despite the influence of other iconological schools, the Athos tradition became one of the most influential. Many copies of divine artworks were made there, often ordered as a gift to Christian rulers or pilgrims. Most of the antique Greek icons for sale were also painted in this style.
Today, antique Orthodox icons for sale are available in most trustworthy online retail stores specializing in religious artifacts. As for Greece, icon painting has become a vital branch of its economy; Greek icons purchased by Orthodox believers, tourists, and pilgrims are in high demand. The copies of the holy images of the Virgin Mary, located in the monasteries of Athos, are the most popular among visitors. They are well known not only to the faithful people but also to art connoisseurs.