Orthodox icon | Dormition of the Mother of God | Kiev Lavra | 24609


  • Typ: Russian icon
  • Age: 19th century
  • Size: 10.5 x 13.5 cm | 4.1 x 5.3 in


Orthodox icon | Dormition of the Mother of God | Kiev Lavra | 24609.

Orthodox churches often display the “Dormition of the Mother of God” theme. The Mount Athos painter’s handbook, chapter 394, details the scene. The holy Virgin Mary lies on a bed in a house, her hands crossed.

An angel wields a bare sword before a Hebrew figure who lost his hands before the bed. Saint Peter stands at her feet, and Saint Paul and Saint John the Theologian are near her head. Above, Christ holds her holy soul in His arms, radiating light, and surrounded by many angels.

Christ, enclosed in a red mandorla, comes from heaven after crucifixion. His goal is to take the soul of the Mother of God into eternity. Mary willingly gives her soul to her Son, as Orthodox belief suggests. This interpretation sees Mary’s death as a model of our future resurrection. The apostles who spread the gospel across the world reunite at the funeral bier.

The Hebrew figure, often identified as Jechoniak, lost his hands from an angel’s action after he tried to topple the Mother of God’s bier. The Orthodox Church commemorates this event on August 15th, a tradition since the 6th century. Greeks know this topic as “Koimesis.”

A unique detail in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra representation is a small gospel book before the deathbed. According to legend, the main church’s four Greek builders brought this icon from Constantinople to Kiev’s Pechersk Lavra in 1075. They gifted it to the founding fathers, Antonij and Feodosij. The original icon hid the relics of seven martyrs behind the Gospels’ book, placed into the foundation wall by the builders.

The icon showcases detailed, beautiful painting. The background, gilded with poliment, features hallmarks and finely engraved ornaments.

Source: Orthodox icon | Dormition of the Mother of God | Kiev Lavra | 24609 © 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 | Dormition of the Mother of God | Kiev Lavra | 24609
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