Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Entry into Jerusalem - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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VV029. Entry into Jerusalem

17th century
35.9 x 31 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£3,500 [Sold]Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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The iconographic design closely follows the scriptural accounts (Matt. 21:8, Mark 11: 1-10, Luke 19: 29-38, John 12: 12-13) and can be traced to early Byzantine icons. Already in the tenth century, the main elements of the composition are present, as early icons from Sinai and mosaics in Sicily illustrate (see fig's a and b). A palm tree is usually situated in the centre of the panel, with the Mount of Olives to our left and the city of Jerusalem (including the temple) to our right. Christ sits on a donkey in the centre of the foreground, and either looks back to his disciples or ahead to the city. His right hand blesses, while his left hand holds a sealed scroll. Behind Christ the disciples stand gathered in conversation. Small children lay garments on the floor under the hooves of the horse. Children can also be seen in the branches of the palm tree.

Fig. a. Entry into Jerusalem, Byzantine, 13th century, Mount Sinai

Fig. b. Entry into Jerusalem, Byzantine, 12-13th c. Cathedral of the Assumption, Monreale, Sicily

The most obvious difference between the Byzantine icons and Russian versions is that in the latter Christ is depicted on a horse rather than a donkey. In Russia they did not know what a donkey looked like as the animal was not known in this part of the world.

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