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The Use of Symbolic Signs in Modern Ukrainian Monumental Church Painting: Classification and Hidden Semantics

Authors: Khlystun Yuliia Igorivna


Monumental church paintings are often perceived either as the interior decoration of the temple or as the "Gospel for the illiterate," as the temple painting often contains scenes from Holy Scripture. In science the painting of the Orthodox Church is mainly the subject of study of art critics, but from the point of view of culturology and semiotics, it is insufficiently studied. The symbolism of monumental church painting is insufficiently revealed. The aim of this paper is to give a description of symbolic signs, to classify them, to give examples for each type of sign from the paintings of modern temples of Eastern Ukraine, on the basis of semiotic analysis of iconographic plots used in monumental church painting. We offer own classification of symbols of monumental church painting, using examples from the murals of modern Orthodox churches in Eastern Ukraine, mainly from the Donetsk region. When analyzing the semantics of symbolic signs, the following methods of the culturological approach were used: semiotic, iconological, iconographic, hermeneutic, culturological, descriptive, comparative-historical, visual-analytical. When interpreting the meanings of symbolic signs, scientific, cultural and theological literature were used. Photos taken by the author have been added to the article.

Keywords: Iconography, painting of Orthodox Church, Orthodox Church, semiotic signs in modern iconography, classification of symbols in painting of Orthodox Church.

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