Orthodox icon | Baptism of Jesus | Theophany | 24991


  • Typ: Russian icon with metal oklad
  • Age: End of the 18th century
  • Size: 34.5 x 30 cm | 13.6 x 11.8 in


Orthodox icon | Baptism of Jesus | Theophany with metal oklad.

All four gospels document Jesus’ visit to John at the Jordan River to receive baptism from him. This visual theme can be traced back to early Christian art. It is later expanded upon in association with celebratory hymns and baptismal ceremonies.

In iconography, a specific portrayal has emerged: Jesus stands within the waters of the Jordan while John administers the baptism. Witnessing this event from the riverbank are angels holding cloths in their hands. It is not uncommon to find depictions of sea creatures and the Jordan god either fleeing from Christ or worshiping him amidst the confined, rocky valley of the river.

The “Baptism of Christ” serves as the iconic representation for January 6, which is among the oldest Christian festivals. Both pagan rituals and Christian observances of consecrating the Nile during its regular flooding trace the origins of this tradition. The Roman calendar indicates that these ceremonies occurred between December 25 and January 25, dating back to the 2nd or 3rd century.

Eventually, this feast on January 6th acquired the designation “Theophany – God’s appearance.” The central focus remains the consecration of water, an event that garnered significant participation from the local population on the nearest river.

Source: Orthodox icon | Baptism of Jesus | Theophany | 24991 © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. For more information: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” (http://www.prodromos-verlag.de/buecher.html) and Joachim Schäfer: Das Ökumenische Heiligenlexikon – https://www.heiligenlexikon.de

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Orthodox icon | Baptism of Jesus | Theophany | 24991
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