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The reality and mystery of icons is developed here in a way that is as fascinating as it is informative. Approximately 500 illustrations show the whole spectrum of icon painting, beginning with the origins of Christian fine art and the most important historical expressions of Byzantine and Russian tradition. This book offers a broad overview of the pictorial thems and includes information about how different types of icons are produced and used.

The brilliantly formulated text of this extremely knowledgeable author is anything but the usual dry and dusty study of a specialist. This presentation is inspired by the tense, often dramatic history of the world of icons, a fascinating and enigmatic world.



The Fascination

The Reality


by Konrad Onasch and

Anne-Marie Schnieper-Müller










9 7/8 x 13 in.

25 x 33 cm

302 pages

Over 450 full-colour



The Beginnings of Christian Fine Art

Icon Centers and Icon Schools

Pictorial Themes:

Jesus Christ:

The Incarnate Word of God; The Unaccompanied Image of Christ; Symbolic Representations of Chris; Trinitarian Themes

Myra: The Life of the Mother of God; The Heavenly Hosts

Special Forms and Usage

Painting Techniques and Artistic Materials

The Pictorial Language of Icons

The icon as a Work of Art




Konrad Onasch, Ph.D., was Professor at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, from 1950 until being named Emeritus in 1981, and Head of Orthodox Studies and Dean of the Faculty of Christian Archaelogy and Ecclestiastical Art. He is known internationally for his work and numerous publications on icon painting.

Anne-Marie Schnieper-Müller, Ph.D., is an art historian, publisher's assistant, freelance journalist and editor.