Hungarian academy exhibits modern Byzantine icons in Rome

Byzantine art is timeless, and to showcase it, the Hungarian Academy in Rome put together an exhibit featuring several artists' rendition of modern Christian imagery.

 

The exhibit contains 100 icons and other religious items completed within the past 30 years. They display mankind’s openness to the beauty and the dimensions of Divine revelation.

SEBASTIEN TERDIK

Hungarian Academy in Rome

“The Byzantine tradition comes from the first centuries, after the Second Council of Nicea. We follow the teaching that it is possible to use images to pray and also to venerate saints.”

 

Hungary has a population of about 10 million people. A majority of them are Catholic, but a large number are also from the Byzantine Orthodox tradition. The art is used as cultural bridge between the two sides of Christianity.

 

SEBASTIEN TERDIK

Hungarian Academy in Rome

“Byzantine iconography is still in use: Christ Pantocrator, the teaching Christ, also the Madonna. However, since Hungary is the meeting point between West and Eastern cultures, we can see new interpretations of St. Francis of Assisi or St. Anthony of Padua.”

 

This combined Byzantine art represents new icon portrayals of traditional Western saints. This renewal also shows off the variation of techniques and styles used, which range from the rigidity of the more classical Byzantine art, to the more expressive forms. For art experts, each artist's style is present in their art work, but always in the background.

 

SEBASTIEN TERDIK

Hungarian Academy in Rome

“In the development of art in Western culture, the artist always became an individual, their artwork was an expression of themselves, but in the Byzantine culture, liturgical art was more functional and it showcased the saint, not the artist.”

 

While the artistic value of Byzantine icons cannot be measured, their beauty has always taken a backseat to their religious purpose. The artist then became the link between God and the people.

 
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