Orthodox icon | Easter and the Twelve Great Feasts | 24822


  • Typ: Russian icon
  • Age: 19th century
  • Size: 35.5 x 30.5 cm | 14.0 x 12.0 in


Orthodox icon | Easter and the Twelve Great Feasts | 24822.

In the center of the icon is the depiction of the resurrection from the grave, with two angels standing nearby. Surrounding this central scene are various feast days depicted from left to right:

The Feasts
  1. Birth of the Mother of God: On September 21 (or September 8), we celebrate the birth of the Mother of God. Anna rests, with her servants at her side. Joachim, her husband, prays at the bed’s head. A servant holds the child Mary, preparing her bath below them.
  2. Presentation of the Mother of God: December 4 (or November 21) marks the day Mary, at three years old, entered the Temple in Jerusalem. Zacharias, the high priest, greets Mary at the open temple gate. Behind them, Joachim and Anna follow, accompanied by another virgin.
  3. Annunciation of the Mother of God: On April 7 (or March 25), the Archangel Gabriel brings the joyful news of the Savior’s impending birth to the Virgin Mary. God the Father directs Gabriel, but doubt makes him hesitate, and the icon depicts him twice.
  4. Birth of Christ: On January 7 (or December 25), the icon shows the Blessed Mother with the infant Christ in a cave crib. The three wise men approach, and below them, Joseph contemplates, shadowed by the spirit of doubt.
  5. Presentation of Jesus at the Temple: Forty days after His birth, on February 15 (or February 2), the Blessed Mother and Joseph present Jesus at the Temple. They encounter Simeon and prophetess Anna. Simeon cradles the child.
  6. Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan: The icon of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist on January 19 (or January 6) shows Jesus in the Jordan River. John stands beside Him while angels watch from the other side. Christ gives His blessing.
  7. Entry into Jerusalem: The Sunday before Holy Week showcases Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Christ rides a donkey, His disciples at His side, as Jerusalem’s people welcome them.
  8. The Transfiguration of Christ: On August 19 (or August 6), Jesus shines gloriously on a mountain before His disciples Peter, James, and John. Moses and Elijah accompany Jesus while the disciples kneel in awe.
  9. Ascension of Christ: Forty days after Easter, Christ ascends to heaven from Mount Olives. Apostles watch in wonder. Two men predict Christ’s return. Above, angels support the ascending Christ, while below, the Mother of God prays, surrounded by apostles.



  10. Holy Trinity: Seven weeks post-Easter, the hospitality of Abraham is celebrated. Abraham welcomes three men but speaks to only one. Seen as a prefiguration of the Holy Trinity, this scene portrays Abraham kneeling to three angelic figures.
  11. Dormition of the Mother of God: On August 28 (or August 15), the icon honors the Mother of God’s ascension to heaven. Apostles gather around her bed, while above, Christ holds a child, symbolizing the Mother of God’s soul.
  12. The Feast of the Cross/Exaltation of the Cross: On September 27 (or September 14), the icon presents Patriarch Makarios showcasing the Lord’s Cross to the people. Emperor Constantine and his mother, Helena, observe. Helena holds the cross’s fragment, while Makarios safeguards the Cross for the future.
The icon

The icon features a poliment-gilded background adorned with engraved and painted ornaments, enhancing its visual appeal and symbolic significance.

Source: Orthodox icon | Easter and the Twelve Great Feasts | 24822 © 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 | Easter and the Twelve Great Feasts | 24822
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