Christ Pantocrator

(Macedonia; sixteenth century)

Macedonia; sixteenth century; 89 x 63 cm

Description of the icon

The icon on a gold background depicts Christ up to the waist, blessing with his right hand and holding an open Gospel with the left one, with the Greek text of John 8:12: “I am the light of the world...” The undergarment chiton is in dark red colour and the upper mantle himation is blue.

The clavus is depicted in a golden hue to the left above the blessing right hand. Compared to the previous icon, his blessing right hand is in a different position – it is not raised but loosely placed above the strip in the fold of the himation. The Gospel in his left hand is now held from below, he is leaning it against his hand and not his chest, as it was on the previous icon.

The rather narrow face is evidence of a post-Byzantine prototype of painting without any Slavic features. The last known portrait of this type was made by a leading post-Byzantine Cretan painter Michael Damaskinos. It is exhibited in the Byzantine Museum in Athens.

The hair is slightly wavy on the neck, falling backward. The Greek letters Ѡ Ѻ N are located in the ornate cross nimbus. The monogram of Jesus Christ IC XC is on the sides of the nimbus in red circles.

The choice of colours, the painting method, the decoration of the halo and even the writing are proof that the icon might have been created already in the first half of the sixteenth century. Based on the colour shades and folds of the clothes, it was in all probability created in the region of Macedonia.