Iconostasis

DEFINITION

In Eastern Christian churches, a screen or partition, with doors and many tiers of icons, that separates the sanctuary from the main body of the church.(pr. i:-KAH-nə-STAY-səs)Example: see thumbnail to rightRussia, Portable Iconostasis, mid-16th century, tempera on 15 wood panels, Milwaukee Art Museum, WI. Although this portable iconostasis is a small-scale version of larger sanctuary screens, it follows the usual format with images of Christ as Savior in the center, Old Testament Prophets on the upper story, Church feast days on the second story, and a solemn procession of angels and saints below.Related link: The history of the iconostasis. Also see aniconic, Byzantine art, cathedral, deesis, and iconomachy.

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