Icon: Chirst in Majesty

Icon: Chirst in Majesty
(click image to zoom-in)
Painting, Tempera on panel and gilding, 128x82 cm
Origin: Russia, 16th century

Christ in Majesty was the central icon from a Deesis Row. The Deesis Row is the main part of the iconostasis , expressing the idea of intercession by the saints for mankind before Christ the judge .

This composition expresses Christ's greatness, and the complex background is only symbolically indicated. The whole of the image is set into a pink rectangle, in the corners of which fine lines are use to depict an angel, lion, calf and eagle, symbols of the four Evangelists. Set within the rectangular is a blue oval, signifying the Universe . In the centre of this oval stands a throne with Jesus Christ seated upon it. His figure is surrounded by a pink rhombus, symbol of a powerful creative energey. Christ's robe is pierced with gold rays. In his left hand he holds an open Book of Gospels.

This iconographical type is most typical of Moscow icons of the 15th and 16th centuries. We should note Christ's small head and the strongly elongated proportions of the upper part of his figure, which suggest that the icon may have been linked with some provincial centre in central Russia.

Personage: Christ
Source of entry: Purchasing Commission of the Experts of the State Hermitage Museum, 1960
School: Moscow
Theme: The Bible and Christianity
Exibition: Culture of Muscovite Russia: 15th - 17th centuries

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