(‘Obraz Nerukotvorrenuiy’ lit. ‘Image Not-Made-by-Hands’)
Early 19th century
Panel: 31.3 x 27 cm
Inscription in Greek: Ω ΟΝ (‘HO ON’): ‘I AM THAT I AM’
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The theme originates with the legend of King Abgar of Edessa who, being ill and hearing of Christ's miraculous powers, sent his ambassadors to Jerusalem to obtain a cure. Jesus was too busy to come but, finding the image of his face on a towel with which he had wiped himself, sent the cloth to the king. Abgar was duly healed.
Below are versions from the 16th and 17th century which follow the same iconographic model.
|Mandylion, Russian, 16th century, Russian Museum, St Petersburg [See footnote 1]
|17th century, Museum of History & Architecture, Yaroslavl, Russia [See footnote 2]
1. Published in Vera Laurina, Novgorod Icons: 12th-17th Century, (Oxford: Phaidon, 1980), pl.213
2. Published in http://www.icon-art.info/masterpiece.php?lng=en&mst_id=4382