Question about Catholic artwork


#1

After I went through my First Communion, my priest gave us a little wooden block that depicted Mary, a person, angels, and some other stuff. It was “Byzantine Art” it said. However, there is something I don’t understand in the picture.

A person, maybe a saint, is holding a black orb in front of Mary, about a foot in diameter. I was wondering… anyone know what this is? Is it some Wiccan or Pagan symbol maybe? I’ve been searching the web, but have found nothing. If you really need it, I can take a picture and post it here. Any help is great, because I’d like to know what is!


#2

A picture would definately help…


#3

[quote=kyle8921]After I went through my First Communion, my priest gave us a little wooden block that depicted Mary, a person, angels, and some other stuff. It was “Byzantine Art” it said. However, there is something I don’t understand in the picture.

A person, maybe a saint, is holding a black orb in front of Mary, about a foot in diameter. I was wondering… anyone know what this is? Is it some Wiccan or Pagan symbol maybe? I’ve been searching the web, but have found nothing. If you really need it, I can take a picture and post it here. Any help is great, because I’d like to know what is!
[/quote]

Can you scan it in so we can see it?


#4

Perhaps this explains it. . .the orb, that is.

Nikopoia, and its similar spellings, means “bringer of the victory”. It is a Byzantine type that appeared as an independent type of icon in the first half of the 5th century and counts as one of the most loved types. The word Nicopeia indicates the place, Constantinople. There are actually many different types. The early Byzantine and widely spread style usually shows Mary seated on a throne in a frontal position with her feet on an imperial footrest. She is richly dressed in purple and the costume of the empresses. Seated on her lap is the Child, whom she supports with her left hand on the his left leg and her right hand on his right shoulder. This solemn and majestic pose is often accompanied by two angels holding the orb and the scepter at either side and as part of the frame.

Read the last sentence especially.


#5

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v337/kyle8921/Kyle-Art.jpgHere’s a pic, but I guess the orb has been explained. But… what exactly does it mean?


#6

That’s the baby Jesus holding the orb. Tons of pictures of Him have Him holding that orb. That being said, I’m not sure what it mean. Something to do with Truth or maybe Kingship I believe, but I could be mistaken.


#7

Pretty big to be a baby…


#8

[quote=kyle8921]…

Pretty big to be a baby…
[/quote]

Hahaha, no. Look at His mom. He’s much, much smaller than her. The proportions are that of an adult and not a baby, which is something common in this style of art (don’t know why).


#9

An orb symbolizes the world (so much for people believing the world was flat in Columbus’ day!). It is usually surmounted by a cross, although this one seems not to be. In this icon you see that Jesus is holding the orb. (Always Jesus) The icon is gorgeous.


#10

[quote=mercygate]An orb symbolizes the world.
[/quote]

I was way off:p


#11

whew… I was scared for a moment that it was some kind of pagan symbol or something…

Kinda weird though, especially for how Jesus is standing and everything, but… it’s cool.


#12

[quote=kyle8921]whew… I was scared for a moment that it was some kind of pagan symbol or something…

Kinda weird though, especially for how Jesus is standing and everything, but… it’s cool.
[/quote]

I love Christian art. It’s always so beautiful. It’s a shame our protestant friends can’t enjoy it because they’re so scared that something might be a graven image:rolleyes:


#13

[quote=Genesis315]I love Christian art. It’s always so beautiful. It’s a shame our protestant friends can’t enjoy it because they’re so scared that something might be a graven image:rolleyes:
[/quote]

But… you aren’t ever afraid that maybe Catholics have just interpreted the Bible wrong, and they ARE graven images? You don’t want to go to Hell because of a statue do you?


#14

[quote=kyle8921]But… you aren’t ever afraid that maybe Catholics have just interpreted the Bible wrong, and they ARE graven images? You don’t want to go to Hell because of a statue do you?
[/quote]

I trust Jesus when He said the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church. The graven images part was made into it’s own commandment by the Protestants just to distance themselves from the Church. I mean, they had to give some reason to make people not want to enter the beautiful Catholic Cathedrals which inspire our hearts to be lifted up to God.


#15

[quote=Genesis315]I trust Jesus when He said the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church. The graven images part was made into it’s own commandment by the Protestants just to distance themselves from the Church. I mean, they had to give some reason to make people not want to enter the beautiful Catholic Cathedrals which inspire our hearts to be lifted up to God.
[/quote]

Well, if statues aren’t graven images, then what are?


#16

[quote=kyle8921]Well, if statues aren’t graven images, then what are?
[/quote]

Nobody can answer my question?!


#17

[quote=kyle8921]Well, if statues aren’t graven images, then what are?
[/quote]

The point in the 10 commandments is worshiping them. Bowing down to something and worshiping it was prohibited by that part. You can see that a couple verses later in Exodus. Also look at the depiction of the ark of the covenant. If anything is graven images, that was.


#18

[quote=kyle8921]Well, if statues aren’t graven images, then what are?
[/quote]

“Graven images” in Old Testament terms means **idols ** of false Gods that are worshipped.

Is this a graven image?

CLUE: Exodus 25:18-19: “And make two cherubim (angels) out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other…The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them.”

If a religious statue is a “graven image”, we have God ordering Moses to make graven images just after issuing the coommandment!

Clearly a religious statue is not a graven image!


#19

[quote=kyle8921]Well, if statues aren’t graven images, then what are?
[/quote]

As others point out, God commands certain images to be created in the OT, so clearly, the prohibition is against the WORSHIP of images. The key words in the commandment are make for yourself – and the clear prohibition is against creating your own false gods, as the Israelites did in making the golden calf when Moses was up on the mountain.

With the Incarnation, there was a paradigm shift. Jesus, fully God, comes in human flesh. What had been un-imageable acquires a human face and bumps the whole created order up a notch. Our images of Christ and of those who live in him (the saints) are not false gods we create for ourselves, and we do not worship them. That’s all there is to it.

The firs iconoclastic controversy in the Church in the 8th Century was largely driven by Moslem influences on the Church.


#20

[quote=kyle8921]Nobody can answer my question?!
[/quote]

If that is a graven image then so are your wedding pictures and the mona lisa.


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