Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Icons from Sinai

While in Los Angeles, had a chance to see the Getty Museum's exhibition of Icons from Sinai, which were of particular interest after having lived in Russia. These Byzantine illuminated manuscripts and painted icons had survived the fall of Constantinople, and preserved by the monks of St. Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai, provided a glimpse into the mysteries of Byzantium. There was also a short video, where Father Justin--who spoke perfect English with what sounded like an American accent--mused on the irony that monks gathered at the foot of Mt. Sinai to preserve icons, while the 2nd commandment delivered to Moses at Mt. Sinai forbids the worship of graven images. (Not sharing Father Justin's sense of irony, the museum organizers had posted an explanation why icons are not, technically, graven images).