On inverted perspective in icons – Иверский Орский женский монастырь

On inverted perspective in icons

– Father, could you please tell me about the inverted perspective in icons. I read some time ago that it represents the space inside of a human.  The lines of single-point perspective, going inside the onlooker. That means that its place is not up there, but inside. What will you say about this?  

– This is absolutely correct. “The Kingdom of God is within you” (Lk. 17:21). Saint Nicephorus the Recluse said a very exact phrase in the “Philokalia,” expressing that after the Fall, the activity of the human mind was directed outwards. In order to come back to God, we need to change the direction and to bring our mind inwards.  Inverted perspective in icons shows that. It guides our mind to the place where the Kingdom of Heaven is. In other words, it brings us to our hearts.  

Archpriest Sergiy Baranov