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Fine Russian Icon - The Beheading of St John the Baptist

Fine Russian Orthodox icon representing the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, known in Russia as "Saint John the Forerunner". He is the forerunner of Christ, the last of the Old Testament prophets, and the first Christian saint.  A popular and much venerated figure in Orthodox iconography, Saint John was beheaded under the order of King Herod who wished to please Salome, daughter of the king's lover Herodias, whom the Baptist had reproached for her adultery. On the left side, St. John is depicting in prison surrounded by a sharp palisade,in the middle - John bends under the mortal blow dealt by his tormentor, and on the right side - the severed head is delivered to Salome. A tree with an axe recalls the words of John's own prophecy: "Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees." (Luke 3:9)

Three border saints are the Guardian Angel, St. Basil the Great, and St. Venerable Martha, mother of Saint Simeon Stylites.


Additional Info

  • ID#: 1024-RSHI-6
  • Size: 14 x 12 1/2 in (35.5 x 31.5 cm)
  • Age: ca. 2nd half of the 19th century
  • Origin: Central Russia
  • Materials: Egg tempera on gessoed wood
  • Price: $3,500
  • Orthodox Cross

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