Visible Image of the Invisible God: A Guide to Russian and Byzantine Icons (Paperback)
A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated guide to Russian icons — the "beating heart of the Christian East"
Religious icons have been at the spiritual heart of the Christian East for nearly two thousand years. Their mysterious, peaceful quality and almost magnetic power can stop us in our tracks and draw our gaze, without us even knowing why. The sophisticated composition and symbolism of icons emphasize that their subjects are inhabitants of another, transcendent, world. They are not simply the art of the Christian East, but the expression and pulse of its spirituality. And on a personal level for many Christians of all backgrounds, icons are not only objects of admiration, but a deep wellspring of meditation, reflection, and veneration.
A docent at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts, for many years, Dennis J. Sardella now offers an inviting guide to the most famous icons in the collection. This vibrantly illustrated book will:
• Introduce you to icons and instill a desire for a deeper appreciation of them
• Teach you about their origin, their historical evolution, their complex symbolic language, and their role in the spiritual and liturgical life of the Eastern Churches, both Orthodox and Catholic
• Answer your questions about when and where the first icons were created
• Show the physical and spiritual steps in their creation
• Explain the different types of icons, the symbolism that is key to deciphering them, as well as their role in Eastern Christian spirituality and liturgy.
Those who are knowledgeable about Russian icons and Byzantine icons, as well as newcomers, will find Visible Image of the Invisible God to be a treasured resource.
About the Author
Dennis Sardella writes and speaks on Russian and Byzantine icons and their role in Eastern Christian spirituality, as well as on prayer and the Christian life. He has served as a Docent at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts for eleven years.
“The field of icon studies has lacked a simple but authoritative overview on the history and meaning of icons. Dr. Dennis Sardella has filled that gap. This will become a classic and an essential guide to anyone interested in icons. The book is clearly written, accessible, richly illustrated, and informative. Dr. Sardella accomplishes the difficult task of providing an introduction to the origin, the development, and the meaning of icons, from their earliest roots at the dawn of Christianity, to the present day." —Kent dur Russell, Executive Director, Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton MA
"This book is amazingly comprehensive for its size, providing a fine introduction not only to icons but to the Eastern Christian faith and spirituality that produced them. But it does more than that; it also manages to draw the reader into the kind of respect, devotion, and worship necessary to understanding any icon." —Frederica Mathewes-Green, author of The Open Door: Entering the Sanctuary of Icons and Prayer
“This compact but richly illustrated book addresses all those questions that newcomers have about icons. Visible Image of the Invisible God contains ample detail to enrich also the more knowledgeable iconophiles. This book will prove to be an unvaluable introduction to icons for years to come.” —Aidan Hart, iconographer, author of Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting
"Dennis J. Sardella’s brief but, very practical and informative book is a resource “par excellence” to understanding what is mystical, sacred, sound and authentic about Holy Byzantine and Russian icons. It is an excellent resource for both the novice and expert." —Fr. Dean N. Paleologos, Former Dean, Saint Spyridon Cathedral (Worcester, MA)