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    STUDIA THEOLOGIA ORTHODOXA - Issue no. 2 / 2008  

  Abstract:  The Grieving Holly Mother represented in the Transylvanian glass icons (XVIII – XX centuries). The Grieving Holly Mother is one of the most frequent themes of the Transylvanian iconography. About this iconographic tipology it is said that is the most spreaded image of the Holly Mother in the glass icons, due to the fact that it`s often seen in the most known Transylvanian workcenters: Nicula, Şcheii Braşovului, Mărginimea Sibiului, Maierii Albei Iulia, Lancrăm and Laz from Sebeş county, and Ţara Oltului as well (ex. the artists Matei Ţimforea and Savu Moga). The oldest images are coming from Nicula, from the end of XVIII century and the beginning of XIX century. The other Transylvanian icons have been painted during the last half of the XIX century and the beginning of XX century. Sometimes, The Grieving Holly Mother is included in an icon with a double theme.
From a theological point of view, this representation of The Grieving Holly Mother along with the theme of the crucified Hrist, is based on the prophecy of the old Simeon, who prophesyed to Holly Marry suffering for her Holly Son. (Lc 2, 34-35).
The manner in which this image arose in the Romanian tradition has been inspired by the Transylvanian cultural environment, very composite and mixed in its confesional structure. Is it an environment opened to different cultural influences as long as these could offer new answers to the issues distinctive and particular for Transylvanian area. In this direction, we can say about The Grieving Holly Mother theme that is the natural, local result of a cultural meeting between Orient and Occident, between the bysantine theme The Holly Mother „The supreme Humility” and the Occidental theme of Pieta. But if in the central and western Europe the Holly Mother has been represented alone in his grieve or carrying the Hrist in her arms, in Transylvania and in Russia the Holly Mother has been represented nearby the Holly Cross according to her dogmatic status of Theotokos (the Mother of God). According to this status, in the eastern iconography, The Holly Mother is always represented together with her Holly Son even if Jesus Christ is already crucified on the Holly Cross.

Keywords: Grieving Holly Mother, Transylvania, glass icons, Pieta, crucified Christ.

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