From the blog On Behalf of All, a post entitled "Using colors according to Tradition." My feelings on this topic are well known and are rather congruous with the below. Iconography is more than art and as such resides properly inside the Church. Thoughts?
|A student of Orthodox iconographer Susan Cushman writes an icon of St. Nicholas.|
Orthodox tradition guides us to reproduce icons ”as they were painted by the ancient and holy iconographers“ (Leonid Ouspensky, Theology of the Icon, Vol. 1, p. 11; cf. the Hundred Chapters Council of AD 1551). This imitation, so to speak, goes beyond an imitation of mere form or “style,” as the purpose of iconography is one-and-the-same with the purpose of the holy scriptures, a sacred hymn, or a work of dogmatic theology.
A non-Orthodox artist might be able to replicate perfectly any number of Orthodox and canonical icons, but this does not mean that what they have produced is an icon itself, which are sacred objects of devotion, apocalyptic windows into the heavenly, and a taste of the Transfiguration itself. Just as no one would presume that an unbeliever could compose bits of holy scripture, nor should we presume the same could be done when it comes to iconography. Saint Symeon of Thessalonica once wrote (of icons) to “use colors according to tradition.” In the same context, Ouspensky notes...