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I would like to discuss, as an Orthodox iconographer, why the religious art that comes from Western secular societies seeks to simply portray images of Christ, Mary, the Theotokos, and His saints as naturalistic beings, bereft of any special dignity, or divinity, that is, their depiction of these holy men and women, ignorance of the true theology of what Christian art really is and how it is achieved.

These secular works of such men as the German artist, Mathias Grunewald [1475-1528], depicted images of Jesus Christ, and the Theotokos, in such a naturalistic manner that they suffer having no spirituality whatsoever, [I use “spiritual” in the Orthodox sense of the word], no sanctity, and no grace.

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“Moreover, we decree that from henceforth the image of the Lord Sabaoth shall no longer be depicted or made into an icon, for no one has seen the Lord Sabbaoth, that is, the Father, in the flesh.”
[Decree of The Great Council of Moscow, 1666]

hy do certain Orthodox continue to accept and to paint false images of God the Father, and why do others except this calumny especially when it is clearly told by the Holy Fathers, the 7th Ecumenical Council (see below), the decree of the Great Council of Moscow in 1666, Council of Constantinople in 1780 that it is forbidden?

This icon is based on a passage in the book of Genesis concerning the visitation of three angels [chapt. 18]

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