Russian icon | Deesis

Icon: Deesis H-22

Origin :
Russia, Palekh
Period :
late 19th century
Size :
31.5 x 27

Against a gold ground Christ Pantocrator is represented enthroned in the centre, making a gesture of blessing with his right hand and holding an open Book of Gospels with his left hand. Saints and angels are turning to him in prayer. To the left are St John the Theologian, St Peter, the Mother of God, the archangel Michael, and kneeling down are the saints Dimitri and Zosima. To the right side are St Paul, St Nicholas, the archangel Gabriel, St John the Forerunner and kneeling down are the saints Paraskeve and Savvati. On the upper border God the Father appears within a segment of heaven. 

The Greek word Deesis, which encompasses the concepts of ‘prayer’ and ‘intercession’, traditionally designates the composition in which the Mother of God and St John the Forerunner, in three-quarter profile, address the central figure of Christ Pantocrator in prayer. In many cases saints and angels join them. 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.

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