THE SAVIOR

                                        The first half of the 16
th century

The icon reflects Rubl
Ž
vís pictorial features, the Pantokrator (the Creator of all things) appears with an open Gospel in his hand and with his right hand lifted in blessing.
We read in the Gospel that symbolizes the holy judgement on world: "Do not judge only by appearances but follow justice, as you will be judged according to you judgements" (c.f. Matt. 7,1-2). Moreover the open book also means Godís revelation through Christ who is the only one able to show the sense of history, by revealing his Fatherís will for salvation (c.f. Ap. 5,1-7). The uplifted hand in blessing shows his holy mercy in the word incarnate, so his judgement will therefore be a merciful one. In faet, this icon is almost always called "the Saviourís icon", independently from his function of judgement which can be more or less apparent. In Christís halo, the outlines of the cross are drawn where you can read the Greek inscription "The One Who Is" referring to the Divinity of Christ. The iconographic painter tried to reveal the unique reality of a man like-God in his intensely expressive face with a high forehead, well-marked eyebrow ridges, deep thoughtful eyes and tight lips closed in wise silence suggesting a listening dimension. The colour of his clothes reflects the divine human nature of Godís son: the royal purple cloth is hidden beneath a dark blue mantle, a symbol of his humanity.

 On the other hand, the Mother of God has a light blue tunic, a symbol of her humanity and her purple mantle is a symbol of holy dignity which any human being attemps to reach through Redemption.
The Saviourís uplifted hand in blessing is represented in the style of Mount Athos, where an index finger represents an iota (letter I), a middle finger a sigma (C), a crossed thumb and ring finger form a chi (C), and the little finger yet another sigma (C). In this way the hand forms two acrostics, IC and CC, that make up the symbols of Jesus Christís name in Greek, Ih s o u C r i s t o u .
The reproduction here represented is partly handmade, following iconographic rules and measures 30x25x2,5 cm. It weighs about 1 kilo.
The total effect of the icon is extremely suggestive. Please write to iconas@iconas.it for any further information or if you are interested in buying a copy of the reproduction.