This historical survey covers some one-and-a-half millennia of Christian imagery and includes descriptions of selected masterpieces.The icons in this book come from the Icon Museum in Recklinghausen, which possesses the most extensive and highest-quality icon collection outside the Orthodox world. Icons do not depict details of the earthly world, but rather an unearthly reality. In accordance with their sacred function, the painters had to keep to venerable traditions. All the same, the art of icon painting is characterized by an impressive variety of themes and formal variations.This historical survey covers some one-and-a-half millennia and includes descriptions of selected masterpieces, providing a graphic introduction to this fascinating world of images. While the book's historical introduction traces the history of icon painting back to late Antiquity and the early Byzantine period, the examples in the picture section start with a 14th century Russian example ( The Dormition of the Mother of God ) and extend from the exquisite 15th century Byzantine icon St Luke Paints the Mother of God across the centuries to one from Transylvania (Romania) dating from 1887.Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Genre Series features: a detailed introduction with approximately 35 photographs, plus a timeline of the most important events (political, cultural, scientific, etc. ) that took place during the time period; and a selection of the most important works of the epoch; each is presented on a 2-page spread with a full-page image and, on the facing page, a description/interpretation of the work and brief biography of the artist as well as additional information such as a reference work, portrait of the artist, and/or citations.