O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Very First Icon & St. Luke

The Byzantine and Latin calendars synchronize today as we celebrate the Feast of St. Luke on both. Here is an icon of St. Luke writing the very first icon. It reminds me of the meme, "Yo dawg, I heard you like icons...". It must be nice to have the model for the icon pose in person. No other iconographer can say that. This icon was written on the table top that belonged to the Holy Family at Nazareth. Over the centuries, the paint used to write the icon decayed, with many colors turning dark, giving the icon the nickname "Black Madonna". The icon moved around Europe for centuries before eventually resting at Częstochowa, Poland, where it still is today at the monastery atop Jasna Gora. Here is what the icon looks like today:

A little odd that the first icon in the icon above shows Our Lord held by the Mother of God on the observer's left. In most icons He is held by her on the observer's right as in the actual icon St. Luke wrote.