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Icon of a Saint

Saints are recognized as individuals from the past who have lived holy lives. Images of the saints were created for places of worship in an effort to help worshippers contemplate a holy path. These images were depicted in an abstract manner, believing that simplified representations could aid meditation. Worshippers from the Byzantine (now Eastern Orthodox) tradition were particularly responsive to these icons. Many smaller icons were made so that people could carry them and bring them into their homes. This example was carved into a small stone tablet.

Byzantine
Icon of a Saint
10th–14th century AD
Steatite
H. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm), W. 2 3/16 in. (5.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Burton Y. Berry Collection, 76.87.25