Comparison of Iconography | Top Homework Helpers

Comparison of Iconography within Medieval Byzantine Empire and early Islam

Iconography entails the complex artistic forms and gestures used to convey religious concepts, visuals, and representations of religious events and ideas. Islam is generally considered iconoclastic religion, where a representation of living things has been prohibited from the beginning. Nevertheless, in no place has the Quran dealt with this problem or explicitly speaks against such representation. Islam’s attitude towards iconography is basically in tune with the monotheistic doctrine that there is no other creator but God. Therefore, any act of creating a likeliness of anything might be interpreted as an illegal arrogation of humans’ divine creative power. The Quran stresses that God cannot share his powers with a partner.[1] It also warns against any belief that idols will intercede for people, together with idols, since this will become fuel for hellfire on judgment day. However, there has been the use of art in the Muslim religion to erase faith and culture.[2] The artworks are erected in mosques and palaces.

On the contrary, in the medieval Byzantine Empire, icons were prevalent, where icons used to portray holy figures represent occasions or figures within the church history. Icons may be set in the holy churches of God, utensils, vestments, walls, houses, and even on the streets. Icons can be used as a representation of Jesus Christ, angels, and even saints. The Ten Commandments were also examples of icons that represented the rules that human beings needed to abide by and live in line with what gods required of people. The commandments were engraved on two tablets of stone.[3]However, according to the Iconoclastic Council, there was controversy in the use of iconography by the Byzantine Empire.[4] This is since the then emperor had a negative stance on iconography; he condemned icons’ liturgical use as heresy.


Encyclopedia Brittanica. 2020. “Shirk in Islam.”

Encyclopedia Brittanica. 2020. “Ten Commandments .”

Khan Academy. 2020. “The Five pillars of Islam Introduction to cultuires abnd religions for the study of AP .”


[1] Encyclopedia Brittanica. 2020. “Shirk in Islam.”

[2] Khan Academy. 2020. “The Five pillars of Islam Introduction to cultuires abnd religions for the study of AP .”

[3] Encyclopedia Brittanica. 2020. “Ten Commandments .”



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