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Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes #381468
06/12/12 10:59 PM
06/12/12 10:59 PM
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Peter G. Offline OP
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Has anyone noticed that the covers of the paper missalettes used in a large fraction of Roman Catholic parishes are typically adorned with images that seem to becoming increasingly like true Byzantine iconography? There has been an evolution in the quality of these from Marxist propaganda-like cartoon figures to something approaching decent sacred art. Perhaps God is doing something good within Oregon Catholic Press? I do not mean to offend anyone if my remarks seem polemic ... I am simply reflecting on what I see, and will accept correction by those who are better informed than myself.

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381469
06/13/12 12:03 AM
06/13/12 12:03 AM
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Cbpotel Offline
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Most definitely, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381473
06/13/12 07:38 AM
06/13/12 07:38 AM
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JimG Offline
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The artist you are probably referring to is G.E. Mullan. I know him a bit. He is a very faithful Roman Catholic. His art definitely is influenced by Eastern Christian iconic art. However, he primarily uses Southwestern motifs and colors in his work. Many churches in San Antonio have his work displayed.







Last edited by JimG; 06/13/12 07:38 AM.
Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381476
06/13/12 07:53 AM
06/13/12 07:53 AM
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sielos ilgesys Offline
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I've noticed it, too. I reckon they've stumbled across something unfamiliar to many RC church-goers. I bet it gets their attention. Me, I'm all for it.
The most recent example I have seen was on a missalette from ( I believe) Oregon Catholic Press.

Last edited by sielos ilgesys; 06/13/12 07:54 AM.
Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381483
06/13/12 09:09 AM
06/13/12 09:09 AM
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John of Patmos Offline
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A Roman rite church near me has an Icon on the cover of there missals too. I've said on another forum, I love a little Byzantine influence in my RC parishes.

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381487
06/13/12 10:29 AM
06/13/12 10:29 AM
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I have noticed that the Roman Catholic church (just take a quick look at EWTN on TV one day) is using Byzantine iconography a great deal the past decade.

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381490
06/13/12 11:31 AM
06/13/12 11:31 AM
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Icons have become very popular among Roman Catholics over the last couple of decades, actually. You'll find them adorning many Catholic churches, these days. Some churches really go town with them, as a matter of fact.

Even the Protestants are taking to icons, for that matter. There's a Lutheran church in my neighborhood that is completely decked-out in icons. I couldn't help but notice during coverage of the Royal Wedding (William & Kate) that two large icons, one of the Pantocrator and one of the Theotokos, were prominently displayed in the nave of Westminster Abbey. I've seen icons in a number of Episcopalian churches here in the US as well.

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381519
06/13/12 09:15 PM
06/13/12 09:15 PM
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JimG Offline
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Here is some more on G.E. Mullan's work. Notice the reference to Byzantine icons as a source of inspiration.

"Mullan’s religious works reveal his effective adaptation of such diverse artistic traditions as the imagery of the Roman catacombs, the illuminated manuscripts of Western Europe, the Santos tradition of Mexico and the American Southwest, as well as the icons and mosaics of the Byzantine world. With a formal education in both art and theology, the artist is able to synthesize the rich two thousand-year history of Christian imagery and symbols and to reinterpret this heritage with his unique contemporary style.


Extensive research is an important aspect of Mullan’s work. Research in contemporary biblical scholarship and in cultural and historical periods lends authenticity to his depiction of a biblical subject or to his depiction of a particular saint. Travel to the ancient sites and shrines of the Holy Land, Italy, Spain, and Latin America has further deepened Mullan’s awareness of the historical and cultural worlds of his subjects."

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381520
06/13/12 09:18 PM
06/13/12 09:18 PM
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JimG Offline
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Here is a picture of one of Mullan's paintings in his icon like style. It is of St. Basil the Great

Last edited by JimG; 06/13/12 09:21 PM.
Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: JimG] #381521
06/13/12 09:22 PM
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I kinda like it.
I bought a Russian style icon of St. Ignatius of Loyola today (made by an RC presumably) for literally three dollars!

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381536
06/14/12 04:27 AM
06/14/12 04:27 AM
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Irish Melkite Offline
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With all due respect to Jim's friend, I'd have a very hard time categorizing any of what I just viewed as icons - even those which are not of Eastern subjects. The style, to my eye, is much closer to cartoonish than even to any of the folk-art iconographic traditions (of which I'm very fond).

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381551
06/14/12 07:36 AM
06/14/12 07:36 AM
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JimG Offline
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Neil

No problem. Mr. Mullan has developed a unique style that is popular among many in the Southwest. My point was that the stylistic features remind one of Eastern Christian icons. For a number of years his work has been on the cover of one of the most common missalettes used in RC churches. I am inclined to think that this is what people are seeing most often in RC pews as opposed to actual icons. I guess I should have made my point clearer.

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: JimG] #381559
06/14/12 10:39 AM
06/14/12 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by JimG
I am inclined to think that this is what people are seeing most often in RC pews as opposed to actual icons.


Well, I can only speak for myself and from my own experience, but I can say that I've never seen anything like that before. When I come across icons in a Roman Catholic church, they are icons in the traditional sense. Now granted, the icons from Monastery Icons (aware of the controversy...just saying) tend to be popular, but one also comes across hand-painted originals, or other wood-mounted copies from other vendors, like St. Isaac's Skete.

In my neighborhood there is a Roman Catholic church that was built in the 1970s and which suffers from looking too...I would say modern, but "dated" would be a better word. The architecture is kind of tragic, really. At any rate, the priest who was pastor in the last decade wanted to do something to...fumigate, so to speak, the dated 70s atmosphere of the place. His solution was to replace alot of the unattractive stylized period "art" with icons (accessorized with hanging lamps and other nice features). And I have to say, his solution worked; the church looks much, much better now than it did before. The addition of the icons and other tradtional accessories have managed to impart a timeless, sacred atmosphere, despite the unfortunate architecture.

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381596
06/14/12 11:12 PM
06/14/12 11:12 PM
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I saw an Icon of Saint Patrick once!

Re: Byzantine Iconography in Roman Catholic missalettes [Re: Peter G.] #381601
06/15/12 01:23 AM
06/15/12 01:23 AM
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