This icon depicts the major liturgical celebrations of the year in the Orthodox Church. The simultaneous depiction of all the major feasts was widely popular in Russia; they are known as ‘polnitsy/полницы’ or ‘full-cycle icons’. Slavonic script identifies each of the fourteen identified scenes depicting the lives of Christ and the Virgin (referred to as the Theotokos or ‘God-Bearer’). The scenes are presented in chronological order, rather than the order in which the feasts occur throughout the year. The Old Testament Trinity (top-left) is sometimes included in icons such as this, rather than the Pentecost.
The central image, which depicts the Resurrection is known as Voskresenie i Soshestvie vo Ad in Russian, Anastasis in Greek, and in Old English as the Harrowing of Hell, is the greatest feast of the Orthodox Church. Icons such as this one show the feasts which provide the rhythm of the Orthodox year.