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Religion and art by Michel Clasquin "God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just keeps on trying other things." - Pablo Picasso "Art among a religious race produces relics; among a military one, trophies; among a commercial one, articles of trade." - Henry Fuseli ---- In the year 730, the Byzantine emperor Leo III issued an order forbidding the use of religious images (icons) in Christian worship. Icons were to be destroyed all over the empire; this came to be known as iconoclasm (literally, the breaking of the images). Leo's successors maintained this policy, but the empress Irene reversed it. She was an iconophile (literally, a lover of images) and during her reign the use of icons was restored. Iconoclasm was reinstated by her successors, but under the empress Theodora the iconophiles finally won the day, more than a century after the controversy first broke out. The use of icons in worship has endured ever sin...