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Encyclopedia > Halo (religious iconography)

A halo (Greek: χαλοσ; also known as a nimbus, glory, or Gloriole) is a ring of light that surrounds an object. They are often used in religious works to depict holy or sacred figures. In Buddhist and Christian sacred art (Eastern and Western churches), holy persons (saints) are depicted with a halo in the form of a golden, yellow or white circular glow around the head. In the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, Glory (from the Latin gloria, fame, renown) is used to denote the manifestation of Gods presence. ... Buddhism (also known as Buddha Dharma, Pali: बुद्ध धम्म, the teachings of the awakened one) is a dharmic, non-theistic religion, a way of life, a practical philosophy, and a life-enhancing system of applied psychology. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life, death, ressurection, and teachings as presented in the New Testament. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are usually depicted as having halos. ...

Contents

In Christianity

The halo represents an aura or glow of sanctity which was most prominent around the head and was conventionally drawn as a circle. It first appeared in the art culture of ancient Greece and Rome, and was incorporated into Christian art sometime in the 4th century. An aura is: in Science Aura (symptom), a symptom experienced before a migraine or seizure. ... Circle illustration In Euclidean geometry, a circle is the set of all points in a plane at a fixed distance, called the radius, from a fixed point, the centre. ... ART is a three-letter acronym that can mean: Adaptive resonance theory Arlington Transit, a bus service that serves Arlington County, Virginia Advanced Rapid Transit metro technology assisted reproductive technology Anaheim Resort Transit Watertown International Airport (IATA airport code: ART) ISO 639 alpha-3 code for otherwise unassigned artificial languages... Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 8th century BC Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1,285 km²  (496. ... Christian art is art that spans many segments of Christianity. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ...

Simon Ushakov's The Last Supper depicts Jesus and the twelve Apostles. Eleven of the twelve have halos, with one (Judas Iscariot) who does not.
Simon Ushakov's The Last Supper depicts Jesus and the twelve Apostles. Eleven of the twelve have halos, with one (Judas Iscariot) who does not.
The Emperor Justinian (and the Empress Theodora) are represented haloed in mosaics at the 6th-century Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna.
The Emperor Justinian (and the Empress Theodora) are represented haloed in mosaics at the 6th-century Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna.

Round halos are typically used to signify saints — i.e., people considered as spiritually gifted. A cross within a halo is used to represent Jesus. Triangular halos are used for representations of the Trinity. Square halos are used to depict unusually saintly living personages. Image File history File links Last Supper 1685 Uploaded from http://www. ... Image File history File links Last Supper 1685 Uploaded from http://www. ... Saviour Not Made by Hands, written by Ushakov for the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra in 1658, is a key painting of the Stroganov School of Muscovite icon-painting. ... The Last Supper was the last meal Jesus shared with his apostles before his death. ... Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ... The Twelve Apostles (in Koine Greek απόστολος apostolos [1], someone sent forth/sent out, an emissary) were probably Galilean Jewish men (10 names are Aramaic, 4 names are Greek) chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth by Jesus of Nazareth to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles... For the American black metal band, see Judas Iscariot (band). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1576x2074, 440 KB) Description: Title: de: Chormosaiken in San Vitale in Ravenna, Szene: Kaiser Justinian und Bischof Maximilianus und sein Hof, Detail: Büste des Justinian Technique: de: Mosaik Dimensions: Country of origin: de: Italien Current location (city): de: Ravenna Current... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1576x2074, 440 KB) Description: Title: de: Chormosaiken in San Vitale in Ravenna, Szene: Kaiser Justinian und Bischof Maximilianus und sein Hof, Detail: Büste des Justinian Technique: de: Mosaik Dimensions: Country of origin: de: Italien Current location (city): de: Ravenna Current... Justinian may refer to: Justinian I, a Roman Emperor; Justinian II, a Byzantine Emperor; Justinian, a storeship sent to the convict settlement at New South Wales in 1790. ... Theodora can refer to any of the following: Flavia Maximiana Theodora, daughter of the Roman Emperor Maximian and second wife of the Emperor Constantius I Chlorus. ... The Basilica of San Vitale The Basilica of San Vitale is the most famous monument of Ravenna, Italy and is one of the most important examples of Byzantine Art and architecture in western Europe. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are usually depicted as having halos. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... giFT stands for giFT: Internet File Transfer. ... Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ... For other uses, see Trinity (disambiguation). ...


The use of halos to designate Christian saints presented a problem in the translation of the Hebrew Bible. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the tablets of the law, he is said in the Hebrew text (Exodus 34, 29) to have a glowing or radiant face. However, this would have implied a halo, which was reserved for Christian-era saints. Jerome avoided this by translating the phrase into Latin as "cornuta esset facies sua" (his face was horned). This mistake in translation is one of many mistranslations of Hebrew words in Bibles that have their origin in the Latin translation. The Hebrew word "karan"'s translation is "radiance" but when the root letters, K-R-N (kuf, resh, nun; in Hebrew letters) are vowelized differently it would mean "horn". In the passage, the radiance of Moses's face is called "karan ohr", which means "rays of light", not "horns of light". 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum This article discusses usage of the term Hebrew Bible. For the article on the Hebrew Bible itself, see Tanakh. ... Moses strikes water from the stone, by Bacchiacca Moses (Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה, Standard Tiberian ; Arabic: موسى, ; Geez: ሙሴ Musse) is a Biblical Hebrew liberator, leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian. ... Moses with the Ten Commandments by Rembrandt (1659) Biblical Mount Sinai refers to the place where, according to the Hebrew Bible (Exod. ... Categories: Language stubs | Judaism-related stubs | Canaanite languages | Hebrew language ... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ... Jerome (ca. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


The description of horns, however, was taken literally by Medieval and Renaissance artists, who depicted Moses with small horns growing from his forehead. Especially noteworthy in this respect is Michelangelo Buonarroti's statue of Moses in San Pietro in Vincoli. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ... Michelangelo (full name Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) (March 6, 1475 - February 18, 1564) was a Renaissance sculptor, architect, painter, and poet. ... The chains of St. ...


Not all the Renaissance Italian painters gave horns to Moses. The Venetian artist Tintoretto depicts Moses' face radiating light in his series about the life of the prophet in the Scuola di San Rocco.

The icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe shows a full-body halo
The icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe shows a full-body halo

In popular piety, this practice has led to the literal belief that saints have visible halos around their heads, rather than it be understood as a metaphorical representation. Some faithful believe the halo to be equivalent to the Eastern religion aura, and as with the latter, believe that halos are visible to those with perception. Of the many stories about saints, some reports claimed that a saint was literally glowing. This whole-body image of radiance is sometimes called the 'aureole', which appears to radiate from the saint's entire body. The term "glory" may also refer to a glowing effusion —used in art to cover up depictions of genitalia. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (788x1233, 253 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (788x1233, 253 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Our Lady of Guadalupe Our Lady of Guadalupe or the Virgin of Guadalupe is a 16th century image, a Roman Catholic icon and Mexicos most popular religious image: Nobel laureate Octavio Paz is quoted as saying that the Mexican people, after more than two centuries of experiments, have faith... The term Eastern Religion refers to those religions that originated in the Eastern Roman Empire and points to the East such as Egypt, India, China and Japan As such it includes Egyptian religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. ... In New Age belief, Aura refers to the energy field emanating from the surface of a person or object. ... The word, Perception, comes from the latin word, capere, meaning to take, the prefix per- means completely. In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... Images of Mary, mother of Jesus are often surrounded by an aureole, as in this image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. ...


During the Renaissance, when rigorous perspective came to be considered essential, the halo was changed from an aura surrounding the head to a golden ring that appeared in perspective, mysteriously floating above the heads of the saints. This form of halo is still used in many popular depictions of angels and of blessed souls in heaven. A square in two-point perspective. ... The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is a supernatural being found in many religions. ... Heaven is an afterlife concept found in many religions or spiritual philosophies. ...


In Buddhism

The Buddha with a halo, 1st-2nd century AD, Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara.
The Buddha with a halo, 1st-2nd century AD, Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara.

The halo has been widely used in Buddhist iconography as well since at least the 1st century AD. In Zen Buddhism, ink brush paintings also commonly use the halo in depictions of saints such as Bodhidharma. In Pure Land Buddhism the halo is used in depicting the image of Amida Buddha. Tibetan Buddhism uses halos extensively in the Thangka paintings of Buddhist saints such as Milarepa and Padmasambhava. Download high resolution version (973x1600, 463 KB)Gandhara Buddha. ... Download high resolution version (973x1600, 463 KB)Gandhara Buddha. ... Media:Example. ... Gandhara Buddha, 1st-2nd century CE. Greco-Buddhist art is the artistic manifestation of Greco-Buddhism, a cultural syncretism between the Classical Greek culture and Buddhism, which developed over a period of close to 1000 years in Central Asia, between the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century... Gandhāra (also Ghandara, Ghandahra, Chandahara, and Persian Gandara) is the name of an ancient Mahajanapada in eastern Afghanistan and the north-western province of Pakistan. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by... A woodblock print by Yoshitoshi, (Japan, 1887) depicting Bodhidharma the founder of Chinese Zen. ... Bodhidharma was the Buddhist monk (usually Indian by most accounts) is credited as the founder of Chan/Zen Buddhism in 6th century China. ... The Buddha Amitabha, 13th century, Kamakura, Japan. ... Amida can mean: Amida is the Japanese name of a popular Buddhist deity. ... Tibetan Buddhism is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, the Himalayan region (including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim), Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia (Russia), and northeastern China (Manchuria: Heilongjiang, Jilin). ... The tangka was a currency of Tibet until 1941. ... Jetsun Milarepa (Wylie: Rje-btsun Mi-la-ras-pa), 1052-1135 (approx) was one of one of Tibets most famous yogis and poets, a student of Marpa Lotsawa, and a major figure in the history of the Kagyu (Bka-brgyud) school of Tibetan Buddhism. ... Guru Rinpoche - Padmasambhava statue - near Kulu Padmasambhava (also Padmakara or Padma Raja) (Ch: 蓮華生上師; Tib: Padma Jungne), in Sanskrit meaning lotus-born, founded the Tibetan or Tantric school of Buddhism in the 8th century. ...


Spiritual Significance

The Benois Madonna attributed to Leonardo da Vinci depicts floating haloes in perspective.
The Benois Madonna attributed to Leonardo da Vinci depicts floating haloes in perspective.

Some think the halo symbolizes the saint's consciousness as 'radiating' beyond the physical body, and that it serves as a pictorial reminder to the saint's devotees of the saint's transcendence of the physical body. Download high resolution version (480x726, 33 KB)1475-1478. ... Download high resolution version (480x726, 33 KB)1475-1478. ... Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15,1452 to May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath: architect, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, inventor, mathematician, musician, and painter. ...


A more Catholic interpretation, less dualistic in its assumptions, is that the halo represents the light of divine grace suffusing the soul, which is perfectly united and in harmony with the physical body.


In Byzantine Iconography, the halo symbolizes a window that the Sts. and Christ peer through out of heaven. In this sense, the iconographic figure resides in heaven (symbolized by the gold background) and communicates with the viewer through the window that the halo provides. Iconography usually refers to the design or creation of images and more specifically to the historical study of art which aims at the identification, description and the interpretation of the content of images. ...


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