Russian Icons

Savior in Power

Savior Enthroned in Glory/Savior in Power (from the Deesis tier) The Church of the Dormition in the Great Monastery of the Dormition in Tikhvin "Savior Enthroned in Glory," the central image of the Deesis tier from the Church of the Dormition in Tikhvin, has a sophisticated iconography which makes it worthy of its central position in one of the largest and richest monasteries in the Novgorod principality. The prominent red which dominates the composition refers to the burning coals cited by the Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel. The red quadrangle symbolizes the all-encompassing nature of the eternal kingdom. The ellipse, made of two shades of green, represents the earth, and the rainbow color spectrum, prophecy. The wings of the Evangelists, located in each corner, appear to shape and unify the land. The book, which lays open in the Savior's right hand, bears a quotation from the Gospel of Matthew (11:28-29): "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest . . ." The iconography of Christ in Glory, which was systematized and popularized in the second half of the sixteenth century, actually influenced the architecture of churches. The main dome of many Greek Orthodox churches bears the image of Christ as Pantokrator, while an image of one of the Evangelists decorates the vaults of the four pendentives. Produced in the late sixteenth century, "Savior Enthroned in Glory" indicates the strong influence of the Moscow School of icon painting, particularly that of Andrei Rublev (see ImageBase). Note: A larger version of this image can be be found in the Selected Large Images datafile.
Copyright ©. George Mitrevski.