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Icon, Christ Pantocrator, Borisovskaya Sloboda, Russia, 1880s – 1900s


Christ Pantocrator from Borisovskaya Sloboda (Borisovka), Russia (USSR)
Russian Orthodox icon depicting Jesus, "Blessing hand"
1880s – 1900s
Wood, size: 18,5 x 12,5 cm
Weight: 155 gr 

About this piece of art

There is a hole in the back of the painting which was made to hang it on the wall and there are old nails on the front. The nails on the front were holding metal foil to protect the corners from being damaged.

In the little cracks you can see white substance – levkas. Levkas is a special chalk mixed with animal or fish glue and some linseed oil. Levkas was used as a base for painting, because they used tempera paints which were made from eggs, water and pigments.

How did we find it?

While roaming the streets of Kyiv we came across a kind salesman pointing us to an art exhibition. In there we found this truly wonderful piece of antique religious art. Read the full story about finding this piece of art.

More information about Christ Pantocrator

The most common translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All-powerful". In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek words πᾶς, pas (παντός pantos), i.e. "all" and κράτος, kratos, i.e. "strength", "might", "power". This is often understood in terms of potential power; i.e., ability to do anything, omnipotenceMore information about Christ Pantocrator icons on Wikipedia (opens in a new window).

What is it with these gestures?

One of the most commonly used hand gestures depicted in Eastern Orthodox icons is a so-called “blessing hand.” It represents a specific arrangement of fingers that spell out “IC XC”, a widely used four letter abbreviation of the Greek for Jesus (IHCOYC) Christ (XPICTOC). Thus, the hand that blesses reproduces the Name of Jesus. However, since this gesture comes from ancient times, it is often associated with classical oratory and means that the speaker is going to say something important, which can also be applicable to all icons of Jesus Christ and His saints.

Condition: D • Fair condition. This item displays noticeable wear but is still presentable.

Regular price €160.00 EUR
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