Orthodox icon | Christ Pantocrator | 24933


  • Russian icon
  • 19th century
  • 40 x 35.5 cm | 15.7 x 14.0 in


The portrayal of Christ Pantocrator, often translated as the “Almighty” or “All-Powerful”, stands as the prototype of all icons. In the act of Incarnation, Christ serves as both the word and the image – the word expressing unfathomable mysteries and the image symbolizing the unseen God. The Council of Nicea, convened in 325, affirmed Christ as the manifest and flawless representation of the Father. The depiction of the Pantocrator emerged as a symbol of resistance during the Iconoclast Controversy in the Byzantine Church, with figures like John of Damascus staunchly defending the depiction. Meanwhile, in the Western Church, there is a corresponding theme, known as Majestas Domini (“Glory of the Lord”), which bears more resemblance to the depictions of earthly rulers.

Typically, Christ’s undergarment (chiton) is depicted in red or gold, while the outer garment (himation) is usually illustrated in blue or occasionally green (divine colors are red/white/gold, while earthly colors are blue/green/brown).

The icon shows Christ bestowing blessings, with the open Gospel revealing the words: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father…” (Matthew 25:34).

Depicted around the border are:

  • Saint Martyr Timothy, a collaborator of the Apostle Paul and the first bishop of Ephesus (celebrated January 22).
  • Saint Venerable Anthony “the Great”, a hermit and the patriarch of monks (celebrated January 17).
  • Saint Great Martyr Nazarius, a staunch proponent of faith (celebrated October 14).
  • Saint Venerable Theodosius “the Great”, a monk, hermit, and founder of a monastery (celebrated January 11).
  • Saint Venerable Michael of Klops Monastery, renowned as a Fool for Christ (celebrated January 11).
  • Saint Great Martyr Theodore Tiron (celebrated February 17).

This beautifully designed icon is complemented by a poliment-gilded background. The robes are artistically painted in gold, further enhancing their grandeur. The depth and nuance of this icon provide a potent visual reflection of the divine narrative it encapsulates.

Source: © 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 | Christ Pantocrator | 24933
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