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Icon on wood, size  10.25 x 5.6 inches


The Sinai Pantokrator from the Monastery of St. Catherine at Sinai is the oldest existing icon dating back to the 6th century.


Pantokrator in Greek means literally “Ruler of All,” but its equivalent in ordinary English is simply “Almighty.” Unlike both the Russian and Greek icon traditions in general, it is not “stylized,” not abstract which was not characteristic of all early icons. Another important note is that if one divides the face down the middle vertically, one is left with two distinct depictions: the Christ on the left of the painting is mild and pleasant. But Christ on the right side of the painting is severe and angry-looking. The painter intended precisely that: the two sides of Christ, one the good Savior with his hand raised in blessing; the other the severe Judge, book in hand.

Icon Sinai Pantokrator

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