Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Mother of God Enthroned with Christ - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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ZZ006. Mother of God Enthroned with Christ

Greek East
16th/17th century
Panel: 77.5 x 63 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

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Christianity in Egypt, Palestine, Syria and the Lebanon has a long and varied history. The culture of the Greek East originates from Byzantium but diversions from the ecumenical Councils created a variety of churches. Greek-Catholics, Maronites, Melkites and others, absorbing local artistic and theological influences, developed styles that partly reflected, and sometimes varied from, the classic forms.

The forceful looks we see in the icon of Mother of God Enthroned with Christ remind us of the much older tradition of the Early Christian monasteries in Egypt (see Fig. 1). The raised gesso decorative work on the haloes comes from medieval art of the Balkans and Cyprus. The red cartouches with the inscriptions denoting ‘Mother of God’ are similar to examples found in post-Byzantine monastic images on Mount Athos and elsewhere.

Fig. 1. Wall painting of the Virgin and Child. Monastery of Abba Jeremiah, Saqqara, Egypt. 6th-7th century.