Russian icon | Christ Pantocrator Enthroned

Icon: Christ Pantocrator Enthroned B-9

Origin :
Russia, Stroganov or Moscow
Period :
circa 1600
Size :
29 x 25 cm
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On this icon Christ Pantocrator (the Almighty) is seated on a red cushion on a large throne, against an olive-green background. Christ wears a red tunic and a green mantle. He makes a sign of blessing with his right hand. The open Book of Gospels  rests on his lap. The book reads, in Church Slavonic: Judge not according to the appearance (John 7, 24). The large throne on which he sits is richly covered with gold highlights.

The figure of Christ is elongated. The head is relatively small in relation to the body. The unusually long fingers are noteworthy, while the highly stylised, curling index finger of Christ’s left hand—with which he holds down the page of the open Gospel book—is especially remarkable. The olive-green background, the ‘Mannerist’ details and the refined painting technique support a date for the icon around 1600 and an origin from a Moscow or a Stroganov workshop.  

The icon forms the central part of a Deesis composition. A good example of the type of icon that would have been placed to the left of our icon of Christ, is a standing Mother of God from the collection of the Russian Museum in St Petersburg. On this panel, which is only fractionally larger than our icon of Christ, the Virgin is shown facing right against an olive-green background. The icon dates from circa 1600 and was produced in a Stroganov workshop.