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unknown (author), Christ Pantocrator

Height: 103 cm, Width: 143,5 cm

The National Museum in Lublin (Lublin Castle), ul. Zamkowa 9, Lublin

Popularizing note

The icon of Christ Pantocrator (Greek: All-Powerful) was part of the iconostasis, i.e., a partition designed to separate the earthly world in the church – the profane sphere – from the sacrum, where the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. Such a partition consists of rows of icons arranged in a specific order. The place of the Pantocrator icon is on the right side of the royal gates. The lower part of the iconostasis, i.e., the row of the governor icons, is separated by three transitional openings. They are located centrally, the so-called royal gates, and symmetrically on the sides of the diaconal gates.Christ is traditionally portrayed in frontal position, in half-figure. In his left hand, he is holding an open book with a Cyrillic text, which is a compilation of various fragments of the Gospel: ‘Strive earnestly for the kingdom [of heaven] and [its] justice, and all these things will be given to you [Mt 6:33]. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find [Mt 7:7]. Look at the birds in the sky like [...] the Father [Mt 6:26]’. He holds his right hand in a slightly unusual way, in a gesture resembling a blessing, but only his index finger is extended, while the other fingers are bent; with his hand he seems to open his robe, which appears to be torn at the level of his heart.The apostles and evangelists with their attributes are depicted in separate fields – kleima: on the left – Peter, Andrew, James the Apostle, Bartholomew, Matthew; on the right – Paul, James, Thomas, Philip, Simon; and in the lower zone: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In the past, before the formation of the multi-row iconostasis, the partitions did not have a separate place for apostles’ and prophets' images; they were then presented around the figures of Christ and Mary on the governor icons. With the development of the 16th- and 17th-century iconostasis, these images became part of the higher rows, and the apostles were placed in the Deesis row. The pictures and patriarchs began to co-create the highest tier. The icon in question, although created in the 18th century, reproduces an older pattern, where the apostles are placed in one representation with Christ Pantocrator.

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Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego - Logotyp
Unia Europejska - Logotyp