Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Christ Pantocrator - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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WW002. Christ Pantocrator

Mid 16th century
22.5 x 16.2 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

Provenance:  Private collection, Germany

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

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Christ sits on the throne of glory in heaven. He is wearing a dark himation with gold highlights and a red chiton. His right hand is raised in a gesture of oration, or teaching, while his left hand holds a closed Gospel. His eyes are downcast imparting a solemn expression and a sense that he is in a state of deep contemplation. His feet rest upon a footstall.

The iconography of Christ enthroned in glory is one of the most important and well known in Eastern Christian art. A key theme of this image is to show that Christ is the embodiment of divine glory - indicated by the gold rays of light (striations) across his himation - and can be connected to Saint John the Evangelist's idea that Jesus manifests the glory of the Father (e.g. John 14:5-14).

Our version is a beautiful example from the post-Byzantine period. The small size indicates that it was created for private prayer. The style and the excellent craftsmanship of the panel suggest that it was created in mid-16th century Greece. It has deep tones mixed with a warm luminosity that imparts a meditative atmosphere. This is especially noticeable in the face of Christ, which has a deeply mysterious quality. Two other examples of the same or similar subject from this period - one from the well-known D. Ekonomopoulos Collection in Thessaloniki - have clear parallels with our icon (see fig's a and b).

Fig. a. Deesis, Greek, Mid-16th c. published in Peter Mikliss de Dolega, Ikone und Mysterium, (Koln, Freundkreiss St Panteleon, 1996), p. 45

Fig. b. Deesis, Greek, 16th c. The D. Ekonomopoulos Collection, Thessaloniki, Greece

Detail Images