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Russian Icon - The Baptism of Christ

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Russian Icon - The Baptism of Christ

For the Eastern Christians, the Feast of Baptism is more important than that of Nativity, in that it is a great Theophany, a great manifestation of Christ's divinity. The iconography of the Baptism is simple and ancient, adhering closely to the Gospels. Christ is depicted at the moment of abasing himself by stepping into the river to be baptized when a voice from the heavens revealing him to be the Son of God. The rocky landscape of the Jordan valley opens up into a whirlpool. John the Baptist leans over Christ, who dominates the waters and blesses him. Three angels symbolizing the Holy Trinity with hands veiled as a sign of respect are ready to receive the naked body of Christ as if it were the Eucharist. Over Christ, the dove of the Holy Spirit sheds the divine light and God the Father from heaven announces "Thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am well pleased." With his baptism, Christ is renewed in his own person the primordial image of man had lost through sin.

Additional Info

  • ID#: 213-052-065-SP7-15
  • Size: 10 1/2 x 8 3/4 in (26.8 x 22.3 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1890s
  • Origin: Provincial Russia
  • Materials: Oil on gessoed wood
  • Price: $750
  • Orthodox Cross
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