Russian icon | Christ the Saviour of Smolensk

Icon: Christ the Saviour of Smolensk B-3

Origin :
Russia, Moscow
Period :
second half 16th century
Size :
31 x 22.6 cm
Provenance :
Private Collection, Germany

The Saviour of Smolensk is the iconographic type of Jesus Christ in which he is represented as the Pantocrator: in a frontal position, with his right hand raised in a blessing gesture and his left hand holding a Gospel book. Usually by either side of Him, kneeling in prayer at His feet, are St. Sergius of Radonezh and the St Varlaam of Khutyn, with in the upper part of the icon two angels showing the instruments of passion.

The most ancient icons of this type appeared during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. The present icon, which exactly dates from this period, depicts a rare variant: Christ is shown standing in frontal position, without any other figures to the left or right, thus adding to the expressive power of the image.

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