Russian icon | A silver gilt Plaque with the Crucifixion from the Cover of a Gospel Book

A silver gilt Plaque with the Crucifixion from the Cover of a Gospel Book E-10

Russia, 17th century, 15.5 x 13 cm

Private collection, Netherlands, since 1970’s
Morsink Icon Gallery, Amsterdam
ALR Ref. No.: S00158683

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The silver gilt plaque, rendered in high relief, once adorned the front cover of a Gospel Book. Christ's body is depicted attached to the cross, his arms slightly bent at the elbows and his legs turned, pushing his hip slightly outward. The cross stands on a rocky ground representing Mount Golgotha. Christ’s head has fallen against his right shoulder.

Longinus the Roman centurion, having seen Christ’s suffering, believed in Him as the Son of God. On the plaque, St. Longinus is depicted standing to the right side of the cross directly behind St John the Evangelist, who was charged by Jesus Christ to take care of his mother (‘his is the mother of yours’). To the left side of the cross stands the mourning Mother of God, and behind her is one of the other Maries. At the foot of the cross in a dark cave, lies the scull of Adam, the first man. Two angels, one to the upper left and one to the upper right side are mourning Christ’s dead, showing their respect with covered hands. On top a cherub is represented.