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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(εἰκών , image, and γράφω, I describe), the science of so-called "Christian art" in the Middle Ages. It includes, therefore, the history and description of images, pictures, mosaics, gems, emblems, etc. There exist in our day many exquisite specimens of Christian iconography, which are preserved in libraries and museums, and are invaluable to us in determining the exact history of this "Christian art." The character of the illustrations, the form of the letters, suffice to determine the age and country where the work was produced. Thus a comparison of MSS. of Eastern and Western Europe brings before us the several stages which mark the growth of Christian iconography. (See ILLUMINATION, ART OF).

The most important modem work on the subject is Didron, Manuel d'Iconographie Chretienne (Paris, 1845, 8vo); trans. into English, Christian Iconography, vol. 1 (London, 1851, 12mo). Older works are, Paleotti, De Imag. sacr. et profanis (Ingolst. 1594, 4to); Molanus, De Pict. et Imagg. Sacris (Louv. 1570); De Historia Sacr. Imagg. et Picturarum (1619, 12mo); Miinter, Sinnbilder der Alten Christen (Altona, 1825, 2 vols. 4to); Wessenberg, Die Christl Bilder (Constance, 1827). (See IMAGE-WORSHIP). (J. H.W.)

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Iconography'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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