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Made by: Unknown

On view in: Icon Room

About this object

This icon of the Transfiguration depicts Christ's appearance to the apostles James, John, and Peter, when they have gone up a mountain to pray. Three consecutive events are shown, as related in Matthew 7. At lower left Christ leads the three apostles up into the mountain, where they see the vision that occupies the center of the icon. Christ appears on the mountaintop transfigured, in a white robe, encircled by an almond-shaped mandorla of light and dark green, and emanating three sharp red rays of light. He is flanked on his left by Moses holding the book of the Dekalogues and on his right by Elijah?, while two saintly couples with haloes shelter behind the apostles in expectation of resurrection. In the foreground the three apostles are shown "sore afraid," Peter at left scrambling away on his knees, John in the center flat on his back and shielding his eyes from the light, and James sprawled full length, his head propped up in his right hand. The final scene is shown at lower right, where Christ directs the three to proclaim their vision. The icon is painted in rich dark greens and reds on a ground that would have originally been covered with gold leaf, but that is now worn down to the cream gesso. The three red rays and the haloes would similarly have been coated with gold over a bole base. The gesso layer has a uniform cracquelure and is pitted around the wide polya with filled nailholes, indicating an original bas'ma oklad. The inscription is missing from the icon, and only Christ and the apostles are named in the lower section of the icon. The face of the board has a carved kovcheg and the inscription "Lord Have Mercy" whittled on the back.

Object name:
Made from:
Tempera on panel
Made in:
Date made:
16th c.
31.6 × 25.5 cm (12 7/16 × 10 1/16 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
INSCRIPTION; LABEL recto: "APOST IS KhS" "IS KhS GDNI"; "PETR IOAN ?" verso: "66.428 Russia 128" (on label), "XVI" (incised on upper right), "GPI POMI" (incised in OCS script)
Credit line:
Gift of Madame Augusto Rosso, 1965
Featured in publication:
"Russian Icons at Hillwood"