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Analysis of the Simeon Stylites icon with dynamic symmetry

In the icon, Simeon Stylites, sixteenth century, Early Strogonov School, Moscow, in the Tretyakov Gallery, the analysis shows that it is constructed within two "root-five" vertical rectangles. The design is typical of Palaeologian art. Note the "reverse" perspective lines on the upper right quadrant of the icon that converge on the lower left corner of the composition (See Figure IV-3 below).

The icon-mountains at the left converge et the lower center of the icon along with the lower tier of mountains from the right-hand side. Note also the design lines from the upper left-hand corner and the curved tiered line of the icon-mountains in the upper right-hand corner converge above St. Simeon Stylites' right eyebrow. The tower in the center of the icon seemingly tilts forward in reverse perspective.


Figure IV-3. Simeon Stylites icon

demonstrating design lines (left) and dynamic symmetry analysis (right).


Analysis of the St. John the Evangelist icon with dynamic symmetry

The fourth, and last icon analyzed in this section is St. John the Evangelist with St. Prochorus, an eighteenth century copy of an old medieval design done in Palech, Russia. It is from the Korin Collection, now in Moscou. It shows the use of two vertical "root-six" rectangles. This icon is an excellent example of the major dynamic symmetry theme of this discussion paper because it is an example of an ancient composition which has been done in modern times. (See Figure IV-4 below)

Figure IV-4. St. John the Evangelist with St. Prochorus icon

demonstrating design lines (left) and dynamic symmetry analysis (right)

The composition is designed on the lines of dynamic symmetry but it is painted in a modern manner which tends to destroy the clean lines seen on the tracing of the main lines. It has been painted in an "over refined" manner" according to Onash (See Selected References). This icon is also interesting in the manner in which the two sides are treated so differently.

Note how the diagonal lines from the center up to the left-hand corner of the icon define St. John and his stance. One of the lines emphasizes St. John's halo edge and one emphasizes his right arm. Three diagonal lines from the center out to the outer right-hand side define the icon-mountains'slanted base.

The right-hand side of the icon contains St. Prochorus and the design lines converge at the back of his neck. One diagonal line at the lower right defines St. Prochorus' outstretched leg, bracing him so that he can write.


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