Russian icon | Triptych with the Deesis

Icon: Triptych with the Deesis B-18

Russia, Moscow, Armory Chamber, late 17th century
Tempera on wood, engraved silver gilt oklad, 10.5 x 18.3 x 2.8 (open)

Private collection, Germany
Morsink Icon Gallery, Amsterdam
ALR Ref. No.: S00153445

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This finely painted triptych depicts the Deesis half-length. The Greek word Deesis traditionally designates the composition in which the Mother of God and St John the Forerunner, in three-quarter profile, turn to the central figure of Christ Pantocrator in prayer. In this role Christ acts as supreme judge at the end of time, while the Mother of God, St John and the other saints serve as intercessors on behalf of all people. In the upper part St George Slaying the Dragon, St Nicholas and St Dmitri Slaying the Pagan King are shown.  

The gilded basma is finely engraved with the titles of the figures of the Deesis and with floral motives. The triptych is enclosed in a metal casing, probably of later date.