The

Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Resurrection and Feasts - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

[ Click on the above image for a full screen view ]

UU036. Resurrection and Feasts

Russian
19th century
35 x 31 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

Provenance:  1. Temple Gallery

2. George Walker

George Walker was brought up in a pit village in West Cumberland but from an early age developed a passion for art and was a talented artist. He began a private collection in the 60's part of which was exhibited at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

£1,800Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

[ Click on any image for a larger view ]   Switch to full-screen mode

The combining of the Descent into Hell iconography with the Resurrection became popular in Russian icon painting during the 18th and 19th centuries. In this version the main images are surrounded by feasts from the life of Christ and the Virgin, as well as various other scriptural narratives. See the table below for the schematic order of this icon.

The Descent into Hell is known in Russian as Bogoyavlenie i voskresinie, in Greek as 'Anastasis' and in Old English as the 'Harrowing of Hell'. It is celebrated on Holy Saturday and is the Orthodox Church’s greatest feast. It depicts Christ descending into hell to rescue Adam and Eve from tombs, together with kings David and Solomon (identifiable by their royal crowns), St. John the Baptist and other Old Testament figures. The image anticipates the general resurrection of mankind at the Last Judgement.[1] In the top right corner we can see the opening of the Heavenly Gates and the righteous entering the Garden of Paradise. In the bottom left corner of the image we see the Mouth of Hell with sinners being cast into its abyss from which Christ rescues Adam and Eve.






Footnotes:-
1. For a study of the 'Descent into Hell' from the Orthodox perspective, see: Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from the Orthodox Perspective, (New York, St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2009)

Detail Images