EARLY DEVELOPMENT
of CHRISTIAN ICONS
 

 Christ and Abba Menas
    7th cent. Coptic icon


 

PASTORAL IMAGES, PRAYER, AND EUCHARIST

 

 

 Good Shepherd, ca. 200

Last Supper, ca. 200

 

 Prayer for the Dead, ca. 220

Christ as Orpheus, ca. 300

Good Shepherd,  ca. 380

 


 

THE CRUCIFIXION AND THE CROSS

 

 

Scratched on a plaster wall of a school for scribes in the city of Rome about 200 A.D. In the crude graffiti a human body with the head of a donkey, drawn from behind, is stretched on a stick cross. Below this scene a single figure raises his right arm in a salute. The unknown satirist offers the caption, Alexamenos worships his god.

 

Diagram of an excavated fourth-century  monastic cell in Nitria, Egypt.  Note the niche in the wall with an ornamental cross.

 

In the later (5th-7th cent.) tradition stylized crosses were the only ornamentation.


 

ROMAN PORTRAITURE AND CHRISTIAN ICONS

 

 

Second Century 

 Fayum Mummy Portraits.

 

Encaustic Icons of Christ and St. Peter,

 St. Katherine's Monastery, Sinai. ca. 550

 

 Apse, St. Katharine's Monastery, Sinai.  ca. 550.

 

Transfiguration Apse, St. Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, ca, 550

 

 


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