Temple Gallery

Established 1959

The Saviour - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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UU037. The Saviour

19th century
22.7 x 18.3 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.

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Jesus Christ is shown in half-length facing the viewer. In his left hand he holds an open Gospel book with an inscription from the Gospel of Matthew: 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn' (11:28-30). His right hand is shown in blessing and with an oratorical gesture indicating that he is in the role of the 'Teacher'.

The face in the current version is configured by dramatic lighting that imparts an otherworldly presence. The large body of Christ and the billowing garments of green, purple and pink also add to the otherworldly atmosphere. This feature recalls the 'mannerist' style of 16th century Russian artists, as we find in an icon of St John the Evangelist in the Ecclesiastical Academy in Moscow (fig. a).

Fig. a. St John the Evangelist, Russian, 16th c. Ecclesiastical Academy, Moscow, Russia

A comparable icon of The Saviour from 18th century Russia, with similar billowy garments and extended body, was previously shown at the Temple Gallery (fig. b).

Fig. b. The Saviour, Russia, 18th century, formerly Temple Gallery, Christmas, 2006

Detail Images