One Answer

  1. Not all saints are depicted wearing beards. Without a beard, for example, many saints of the early Church are depicted-Sts. St. George the Victorious, Panteleimon, Stephen and others who were martyred in their youth. We don't know for certain whether they wore beards or not, but we do know that they died young, and the lack of a beard is one way to emphasize their youth. This is due to the fact that the icon is characterized by an emphasized conventionality of the image. It is not so much the object itself that is depicted as the idea of the object; everything is subordinated to the disclosure of the inner meaning. Accordingly, you should not approach icons with a ruler and wait for realism or naturalism, this is not a picture. Do not make excessive generalizations. Why a particular saint is portrayed in this way, and not otherwise, the answer should be sought in his life.

    P.S. A couple more examples that are chronologically closer to us: some Russian saints of the last centuries are also depicted without a beard, for example, Sts. Feodor Ushakov and John the Russian.

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