Church iconography is one of the oldest and most sacred traditions of the Catholic church. From intricately-designed statues to breathtaking stained glass windows, every Catholic church is full of gorgeous religious artwork. In fact, ost Catholic iconography is full of symbols that refer back to the Bible in one way or another.
Even the simplest of objects can have a deeper implied meaning, completely transforming the power and message of the piece. Not only is the process of making an icon sacred, the reading of an icon is also important. In this video, we will take a look at some of the most interesting symbolism in Catholic iconography.
One of the biggest problems that depictions of Jesus have run into throughout history is portraying him as both wholly god and wholly man. This concept is almost impossible to visualize, but every artist has taken their own approach to it. In this icon, there is a snail painted right next to the foot of St. Francis. Instead of symbolizing something in a “this is like that” manner, the artist has flipped this concept on it’s head. We are meant to look at the snail as being unlike God, but still having some attributes of God.