Orthodox Iconography – Nativity and Dormition with Dragana Van de moortel-Ilić
In Christian Orthodox iconography the Nativity of Christ and the Dormition of Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos) are two key frescoes frequently depicted on the walls of churches. They manifest a profound philosophy of life and death, representing a fundamental contrast of scenes. Just as the Sun is ‘born’ each morning in the east, so the Nativity is depicted on the eastern walls; the Dormition (death or ‘falling asleep’) of Mary is to be found in the west, the side of the setting Sun.
The seasons too are reflected in the dating of these events: the birth of Christ is celebrated in December at the point in the year when the Sun is ‘reborn’, whereas the feast of the Dormition falls in August, when the grain is harvested.
In the Nativity fresco Jesus is depicted as a child, while in the Dormition fresco he holds a child in his hands, representing the soul of his mother.
In this session Dragana Van de moortel-Ilić will show a range of such vivid frescoes and explain the philosophy which underlies them.
Speaker: Dragana Van de moortel-Ilić has a Master’s Degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Her dissertation was on the cosmological elements of Christian Orthodox iconography. www.dragana-vdm-ilic.com