1 Dec 2010
MOSCOW, 17TH CENTURY, INSERT (VRESOK)
31.1 by 26.3 cm
The Lord of Sabaoth is depicted dwelling in Heaven, surrounded by fiery rays of golden light, signifying the act of the Divine creation. He is shown with the Sophia type of halo (an eight-pointed star formed by the superimposition of a green square upon a red square), which symbolises Divine wisdom. Both hands are raised in blessing and are turned towards humankind, emphasising the creative and the world-ordering will of the Holy One. The iconography is based on the image of Jesus Christ as the Ancient of Days, thereby symbolically depicting God the Father (Daniel 7:9 and 14), a concept already present in Byzantine art. However, from the 16th century, the details defining the figure as Christ (such as the IC XC monogram and the tripartite halo) disappear, and the inscription “The Lord of Sabaoth” is introduced. Such iconography became widespread from the middle of the 16th century, particularly in the art of Moscow. A depiction of the Lord of Sabaoth usually crowned compositions representing the Creation, Annunciation, Theophany, Synaxis of the Virgin, Triumph of the Cross, and many other scenes, especially symbolic ones. The image was widespread in Old Believers' circles, where this ancient fragment has been conserved by carefully inserting it into a new 18th-century panel.
Notes on symbols:
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