mandorla

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mandorla

(män`dôrlä), [Ital.,=almond], a medieval Christian artistic convention by which an oval or almond-shaped area or series of lines surrounds a deity, most commonly Jesus. The mandorla is thought to have derived from either Greek or Roman prototypes. Figures of deities were sometimes placed within semicircular outlines on Greek vases. The Romans surrounded portrait busts with medallions and shields. One of the earliest known uses of the mandorla in Christian iconographyiconography
[Gr.,=image-drawing] or iconology
[Gr.,=image-study], in art history, the study and interpretation of figural representations, either individual or symbolic, religious or secular; more broadly, the art of representation by pictures or images, which may or
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 occurs in the 5th-century mosaics in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. The principal applications of the mandorla, also sometimes termed aureole or vesica pisces, were in paintings depicting the Transfiguration, the Ascension, the Last Judgment, the Harrowing of Hell, and in symbolic portrayals of the evangelists and Christ in Majesty. The Virgin Mary and the major angels were also shown enclosed in a mandorla. The convention, like that of the halo, was discontinued during the Renaissance. See nimbusnimbus
, in art, the luminous disk or circle or other indication of light around the head of a sacred personage. It was used in Buddhist and other Asian art and by the early Greeks and Romans to designate gods and heroes and appeared in Christian art in the 5th cent.
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mandorla, vesica piscis

An aureole, almond-shaped, depicted around the full form of a sacred person.
References in periodicals archive ?
The clouds, too, do not provide any true sense of nature: those in the sky are triangular in shape with flat base, while those along the edge of the mandorla have a lozenge form with a single dark swirl at the centre.