This icon was once the center piece
of a tryptic. The two side panels, sadly lost once attached to
the sides of this center panel with hinges. The two sides could
fold over the central image. The art of painting religious icons
existed for nearly 900 years before Russia began writing theirs.
Russian religious icons first appeared after the baptism of the
sovereign of Kyiv with the help of Byzantine masters. Greek iconographers
tend to use more vibrant, higher contrasting colors than Russian
iconographers. Russian religious icons labeled in an old language
predating Cyrillic, while Greek Orthodox icons are labeled in
Greek. Above the head of Christ, a few faint letters are seen
This icon depicts the Deisis (Greek
for "Prayer") Christ is enthroned as "Lord Almighty"
and Mary and John stand on either side. Christ is They are there
to intervene on behalf of the rest of humanity, asking him for
mercy. The Deisis can be found on the iconostasis, a great screen
covered with icons that separates the congregation altar in Orthodox
Coomler, D. (1995) The Icon Handbook.
Springfield, Illinois: Templegate Publishers. p. 22, 54
RussianIcon. (2016, April 24) "Main Differences between
Russian and Greek Orthodox Icons." Russian Icon and Antiques.