An iconographic type, commonly found in the Roman catacombs, of a female figure praying with extended arms

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

     Catholic_Encyclopedia Orans
    Among the subjects depicted in the art of the Roman catacombs one of those most numerously represented is that of a female figure with extended arms known as the Orans, or one who prays. The custom of praying in antiquity with outstretched, raised arms was common to both Jews and Gentiles; indeed the iconographic type of the Orans was itself strongly influenced by classic representations (see Leclercq, "Manuel d'arch. chrét.", I, 155). But the meaning of the Orans of Christian art is quite different from that of its prototypes. Numerous Biblical figures, for instance, depicted in the catacombs—Noah, Abraham, Isaac, the Three Children in the Fiery Furnace, Daniel in the lions' den—are pictured asking the Lord to deliver the soul of the person on whose tombs they are depicted as He once delivered the particular personage represented. But besides these Biblical Orans figures there exist in the catacombs many ideal figures (153 in all) in the ancient attitude of prayer, which, according to Wilpert, are to be regarded as symbols of the deceased's soul in heaven, praying for its friends on earth. This symbolic meaning accounts for the fact that the great majority of the figures are female, even when depicted on the tombs of men. One of the most convincing proofs that the Orans was regarded as a symbol of the soul is an ancient lead medal in the Vatican Museum showing the martyr, St. Lawrence, under torture, while his soul, in the form of a female Orans, is just leaving the body (see Kraus, "Gesch. der christl. Kunst", I, 126, fig 56). An arcosolium in the Ostrianum cemetery represents an Orans with a petition for her intercession: Victoriæ Virgini ... Pete ... The Acts of St. Cecilia speaks of souls leaving the body in the form of virgins: "Vidit egredientes animas eorum de corporibus, quasi virgines de thalamo", and so also the Acts of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus.
    Very probably the medieval representations of a diminutive body, figure of the soul, issuing from the mouths of the dying, to be received by Angels or demons, were reminiscences of the Orans as a symbol of the soul. The earlier Orantes were depicted in the simplest garb, and without any striking individual traits, but in the fourth century the figures become richly adorned, and of marked individuality—an indication of the approach of historic art. One of the most remarkable figures of the Orans cycle, dating from the early fourth century, is interpreted by Wilpert as the Blessed Virgin interceding for the friends of the deceased. Directly in front of Mary is a boy, not in the Orans attitude and supposed to be the Divine Child, while to the right and left are monograms of Christ.
    LOWRIE, Monuments of the Early Church (New York, 1901); KRAUS, Geschichte der christl. Kunst. (Freiburg, 1895); WILPERT, Ein Cyklus christologischer Gema(lde (Freiburg, 1891); NORTHCOTE AND BROWNLOW, Roma Sotterranea (London, 1879).
    Transcribed by Pam Garritano

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Orans — in der typischen Gebetshaltung mit ausgebreiteten Armen. Wandmalerei, Calixtus Katakombe, 3. Jahrhundert. Als Orans oder Orante (lat.: der / die Betende, Plural: Oranten) bezeichnet man in der bildenden Kunst die Abbildung der Gottesmutter oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Orans —   [lateinisch »der Betende«] der,. ..ten/...ten, Orạnt der, en/ en, Figur der frühchristlichen Kunst, die betend beide Arme erhebt. (Adorant) * * * Orans, Orạnt, der; Oranten, Oranten, Orạn|te, die; , n [lat. orans (Gen.: orantis) = der, die… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Orans — Orans, Or’ant der; Or’anten, Or’anten u. Or’an|te die; , n <aus lat. orans, Gen. orantis »der, die Betende«, substantiviertes Part. Präs. von orare »beten, bitten«> Gestalt der frühchristlichen Kunst in antiker Gebetshaltung mit erhobenen… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • orans — òrans m DEFINICIJA v. orant …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Orans — 18th c. Byzantine style bronze panagia from Jerusalem, showing the Virgin Mary in the Orans position Orans (Latin, praying), (or Orante) is a figure with extended arms [1] or bodily attitude of prayer, usually standing, with the elbows c …   Wikipedia

  • Orans — Recorded as Orange, Oran, Orans, Orringe, Orring, Orrin and possibly others, this unusual surname can be described as both English and French, with possibly a dash of Dutch. It originates from places called Orange in France, of which the most… …   Surnames reference

  • Orans Suites 4 — (Джедда,Саудовская Аравия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Al Zahra Street, Opposite to Souq Al Shateq …   Каталог отелей

  • Orans Suites 3 — (Джедда,Саудовская Аравия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Al Salamah District opposite to I …   Каталог отелей

  • Orans Suites 1 — (Джедда,Саудовская Аравия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Hera a Street, 99999* Джедда, Саудовская Ар …   Каталог отелей

  • Orans of East — (Эр Рияд,Саудовская Аравия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Abu Al Aswad Al Doyale Street, Khre …   Каталог отелей

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”