Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Deesis - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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TT015. Deesis

16th century
Centre panel of a triptych: 13 x 9 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£2,250Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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This iconography is known as the deesis (Gk: prayer or petition). Christ sits enthroned in the centre of the panel. He blesses the viewer with his right hand and holds an open Gospel-book with his left hand. His feet rest upon a red footstool. The gold lines that adorn his robe symbolise his glory. On Christ's left, the Mother of God stands turned towards the Lord with a gesture of supplication. On the other side of the throne John the Baptist stands in a posture that corresponds to that of Mary, creating a symmetrical composition. They petition for the salvation of mankind.

A similar work from this period can be seen in the Museum of Athens (see fig. a). The description by Nano Chatzidakis of the icon in Athens can also be applied to our object: 'The extremely careful technique reveals an artist who has remained faithful to fifteenth-century prototypes...' [1].

Fig. a. Triptych with Deesis, Saints and the Annunciation. Greek, 16th century. Museum of Athens, Athens

1. 1. Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art, (Athens, Byzantine Christian Museum, 1985), p. 142

Detail Images