Polish and French Names of Craft Tools that Are Attributes of Saints and Blesseds in Iconography

Wiesław Bar


The article contains an analysis of the attributes in iconographies of Saints, in particular tools, and their Polish and French names. In the first part the dictionary definitions of the word “attribute” are given, and then the indicated term “attribute” that designates essential elements of the form, is analyzed in relation to other terms and to the reality as designating elements in various fields over the centuries and now in informatics. In the following chapters – in historical perspective – attributes are described as identifiers of the presented figure in Christian culture and their classification according to form and subject. The criteria for their specification have been determined on the basis of the definition of “craft” included in the Polish Crafts Act and the organizational structure of the Polish Craft Association. The characterized groups of tools appearing as the attributes were illustrated with selected images of saints and blesseds from the 5th to the 13th century. For today’s man, the man of the digital era and robotics, more and more of these tools remain unknown, and their names become archaisms or are the subject of semantic evolution.

The article finishes with the reflection on the contemporary iconographic composition of saints, sometimes secondary to other techniques of perpetuating official images accompanying the beatification and canonization. In these icons written according to the iconographic pattern of the East, the decreasing role of individual attributes (including tools) and the meaning of the spiritual element symbolically expressed by universal and common attributes are observed.


attribut; outil d’artisant; canonization; worship of saints; iconography


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18290/rh.2019.67.8-6


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Roczniki Humanistyczne · ISSN 0035-7707 | eISSN 2544-5200 | DOI: 10.18290/rh

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