The Icon of Christ:
The Medallion from an Icon Frame of Christ
Perspective World Art & Design 1
November 21, 2011
The Medallion from an Icon Frame of Christ is one of nine iconic medallions, located in a Byzantine art exhibit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Created circa 1100, the gold medallion is from the Djumati Monastery in Georgia. With its imagery of Christ, and its post-Iconoclasm creation, this medallion is an example of the importance of iconography in the Byzantine Christian Church.
One of the most recognizable genres of art from the Byzantine Empire is the icon: a religious work of art. An icon is an image that represents a concept, a value, or an idea of Christianity. Unlike a narrative, which told a story and often had some sort of theological instruction and lesson, an Icon was used as a stand in to signify a concept. Icons were usually created as flat panel paintings, but were also carved in stone, embroidered into cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic, printed on paper or metal, done as a fresco, or, as in this case, cast in metal to create medallions. Icons were often depictions are of holy beings like Jesus, Mary, Saints, and angels, or of holy objects such as the cross. Within each image there are symbols that pertain to and signify certain aspects of Christian theology.
The Medallion from an Icon Frame of Christ is a flat, circular medallion with a diameter of 3 1/4 inches, about the size of a hand. The golden disk is one of the few surviving examples of cloisonné enamel, a Byzantine metal casting technique. In its fabrication, separate compartments were covered by thin sheets of silver or gold and filled with colored glass paste, then fired at a high temperature. After several firings, the melting glass would form a solid surface and the final product could be polished. Directly in the center of the circle there is the Icon of Christ. He sits in between the...