Christ Pantocrator with a Silver Okhlad
(Russia; nineteenth century)
Russia; nineteenth century; 31.6 x 28 cm
Description of the icon
Within the exhibition as well as the catalogue, this is the only icon with the so-called okhlad. Over the centuries, many icons, as well as liturgical books, were decorated, or covered, with rich metal, gold or silver decoration, enriched with ornaments or precious stones. In most cases, the decoration covered almost the entire icon, except for the exposed parts of the figure or figures, namely the face, hands and feet. Often this expensive and rare decoration of icons was realized by donors who wanted to express their gratitude to God for His blessing, hearing of prayers or healing.
Only the background and the nimbus are covered with silver okhlad in this icon. Christ is depicted up to the waist in traditional clothing, namely in red chiton and dark blue himation. He is giving blessings with his raised right hand and holding the open Gospel in the left, which he is leaning on his chest. As it is a rather small icon, the Church Slavonic text in the Gospel is a fragment of the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest....” The profound look of Christ expresses wisdom, peace and love. The wavy brown hair rests on his left shoulder from the viewer's point of view. The Greek letters Ѡ Ѻ N are placed in the ornate cross nimbus. The monogram of Jesus Christ IC XC is located in circles on the sides of the nimbus. The Church Slavonic name of the icon Господъ Всєдєржитєлъ – Omni-ruler is included.