About the Liturgical Beauty: Considering Iconography and Church Art course
Since we are made in God’s image, an essential part of liturgy is its material beauty. This course aims to help clergy, theologians, church architects, artists and other church influencers understand the theological basis for liturgical art, its particularities, and how to commission it in an informed way.
Through three illustrated talks we will cover the Orthodox Church’s theology and approach to liturgical art, and how this can be applied to and enrich Anglican liturgical art. We shall discuss panel icons, wall painting and mosaic, church furnishing and lighting. Throughout, we will engage with participant queries.
Although its primary function is liturgical, the Orthodox Church’s visual iconography is often the fragrance that first attracts people and is thus a major contributor to Orthodoxy’s continued growth over the past decades. Iconography’s union of theology, mystery and beauty strikes a chord with people. We will explore how these same principles can be applied to Anglican sacred art.
The three talks are:
1) The Theology of Liturgical Art will consider the patristic basis of liturgical beauty, showing how worship is a microcosm of our divine role as prophets, priests and transfiguring artists of creation. We address such issues as the distinction between worship and veneration, and the role of the bodily senses in spiritual life.
2) The Transfigured Garment of Christ will look at how this theological vision affects the form of liturgical art. This radical vision of the world transfigured should be reflected not just in what is depicted but how it is depicted.
3) Commissioning Liturgical Art looks at principles and practicalities of commissioning church art, whether small or large scale.
About the Course leader
Aidan Hart has been a professional icon painter and carver for over thirty years. He is a member of the Orthodox Church, a popular speaker, and author of three books on iconography.
Most of Aidan’s time is spent fulfilling commissions for liturgical art, from Anglican and Catholic churches as well as from Orthodox. With works in more than 25 countries, he is experienced in a wide variety of mediums: egg tempera panel painting, fresco, mosaic, and stone and wood carving. He also acts as church design consultant.
Actively involved in training a new generation of liturgical artists, he has apprentices and is also founder and director of The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Art’s three-year part-time icon painting certificate programme. He and his colleagues are currently involved in helping to establish a liturgical art centre in Chichester Cathedral. Aidan lectures widely and has published three books on iconography, most recently Festal Icons: History and Meaning.