2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Icon painting in Christianity was considered one of the most developed forms of art. And if today we evaluate the icons of the 18th century from an aesthetic point of view, then at the time of their writing they had, first of all, sacred, religious significance. People believed that the icon could heal, hear prayer and fulfill it. That is why each of them has a specific purpose.
18th century icon style
Each era brought something new to the style of writing. This was influenced by the traditions and new trends of secular painting, the general level of development of culture and even the economy of the state, because during periods of prosperity there were much more conditions for the creation of temples and churches, for which new icons were needed. Masters could afford high-quality paints and materials for decoration.
Early icons from the 18th century are in the Baroque style. Its main features are large forms, the proximity of images to a realistic picture. Also, it was at this time that the writing of floral ornaments changed: they are characterized by smoothness, flexibility and believability.
Icon painting in the middle of the century
Like any kind of art, icon paintingcharacterized by a periodic return to the roots. So, the icons of the mid-18th century again showed forgotten floral ornaments in a different way than under the influence of the Baroque. Here, images of thin undulating shoots with various decorations - curls, shells, finely painted details prevailed. Examples of this period are the icons of the Passionate Mother of God and St. John the Warrior. But the so-called “living-like” writing has already established itself in technology and has not gone out of use.
In the second half of the 18th century, this style occupies a leading position in art. He expressed himself in sharpening the detail and changing the overall concept of the image. Icons of the 18th century in the Rococo style stand out from the rest in that they consist of several almost equal fragments. All ornaments here are grouped around some main detail. At the same time, floral ornaments, curls and shells also remain in the icons. It is this variety of possible techniques that has made it possible to create such interesting works. As examples, we can consider the Don Icon of the Mother of God of the 18th century and the New Testament Trinity.
The end of the century brings even more ornamentation - images of palm branches, various flowers, vases and garlands appear. Such detailing is a harbinger of classicism.
During this period, the technique of creating icons also changes: chasing becomes the main type. This allows you to decorate the icons with precious metals and stones, to create a relief. The most striking example of this style is the icon of the Mother of GodKazanskaya. On it, the master used both a gold salary and precious stones.
Transformation of icon painting in the era of classicism
Icons of the 19th century are more diverse in style. One of the inventions of this era was the Empire style, which suggests the presence of paint only in the image of the characters' faces. Also, different types of silver are used here at the same time - gilded, smooth and matte.
In the middle of the century, eclecticism begins to dominate. On the one hand, baroque traditions are again used in icons, and on the other hand, smaller and more schematic ornamentation appears. An innovation is the use of enamel of different colors. Thus, the frame of the icon and the salary were no longer perceived as one.
The end of the century brought the art of icon painting closer to the Art Nouveau style, the main feature of which was an even greater crystallization of the significance of decor.
Icons of the 18th-19th centuries is a very broad topic, the study of which is interesting not only for modern masters, but also for the uninitiated.
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