109 Nicolas Zernov. Eastern Christendom: A Study of the Origin and Development of the Eastern Orthodox Church. (New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1961), p. 278.
110 Baggley, 1988, p. 85.
111 Ouspensky, 1992, p. 187.
112 Quenot, 1991, p. 97.
“Lengthy fingers and elongated bodies indicate dematerialization in the most eloquent way…”117 The arched eyebrows signify being “…consumed in the fire of contemplation.”118 In this way, sensual powers are internalized. “The bodies no longer have a sex: naked Christ, St. Basil the Blessed, or St. Mary the Egyptian have asexual bodies, deeper “inner” bodies, “bodies on the innermost parts of their bodies,” to quote an expression dear to the mystics.”119
Transcendence In Icons
In the icon, the naturalistic is distinguished from spiritualistic. The naturalistic is inadequate, as it is influenced by the fall. Icons do not portray naturalistic ideas or images.120 Rather, the transcendent is emphasized. The icon is devoid of emotional explanation. It is a peaceful transmission: “The icon does not represent the divinity. Rather, it indicates man’s participation in the divine life.”121 Christian art is not to represent everyday life but life infused by the Gospel. Lazarev has given us a number of examples of icons that emphasize a sense of the transcendent – moving beyond this world.122 Some examples of this transcendence are: The Holy Face (12th century), Angel (12th century), Saint Nicolas The Wonderworker (13th century), The Apostle Peter (14th century), The Virgin Hodegetria (1482), The Savior Of The Fiery Eye (14th century). Generally, Christ is portrayed as serene when on the cross. This highlights the contrast between the spiritual and the physical and other kinds of pain he must have experienced.