Russian icon | ‘In Thee Rejoiceth’ with Scenes

Icon: ‘In Thee Rejoiceth’ with Scenes K-8

Russia, mid-17th century
Tempera on panel, 39.5 x 32.5 cm

Private Collection, Germany
ALR Ref. No: S00202704


The central image in the icon icon illustrates the first words of the hymn ‘In Thee Rejoice’, which is dedicated to the Mother of God and sung during the liturgy of St Basil the Great. The iconography emerged towards the end of the 15th century and became widespread during the 16th century. The Mother of God is depicted enthroned in the centre, holding the Christ Child on her lap, encircled by a large blue aureole which is surrounded by angels. Below, St John the Forerunner, represented with wings as the ‘Angel of the Desert’, is holding an open scroll. The heavenly part of the scene is set against the background of the garden of paradise, represented with trees and a large multi-domed church. The lower part is set against an ochre coloured rocky background. Several groups of saints, like patriarchs, prophets, kings, holy hierarchs, martyrs, monks and nuns, together representing the whole human race, are raising their hands in prayer, while glorifying the Holy Virgin. Twenty four scenes surround the central image:

1.    Conception at the Golden Gate
2.    Birth of the Virgin
3.    Entrance of the Virgin into the Temple
4.    Annunciation
5.    Nativity of Christ
6.    Presentation in the Temple 
7.    Baptism of Christ
8.    Raising of Lazarus
9.    Entry into Jerusalem
10.    Transfiguration on Mount Thabor
11.    Washing of the Feet
12.    Crucifixion
13.    Deposition from the Cross
14.    Lamentation of Christ
15.    Anastasis
16.    Myrrh Bearing Women at the Empty Grave
17.    Doubting Thomas
18.    Christ Preaching in the Temple
19.    Ascension of Christ
20.    Pentecost
21.    Procession of the Life-Giving Cross
22.    Exaltation of the Cross
23.    Dormition of the Virgin
24.    Pokrov of the Mother of God