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Christ Pantocrator Enthroned

Central Russia

1725-1750 c.
Room 2
Tempera on wood
13 x 11,1 cm
1890 no. 9302

Jesus Christ sitting on a magnificent throne with an oval-shaped pedestal before him on which he is resting his bare feet. Christ is in the act of blessing while, in his left hand, he holds an open book showing a passage from the Gospel of Matthew (ПРИ//IДИ//ТЕ // КО // М//НЕ; Come to me, Mt. XI (28).

The prayer theme was a very common one in Byzantine and Russian art, although it was mainly used in larger works destined primarily for altar railings. One of the best known examples is the icon kept at the Cathedral of the Annunciation at the Kremlin in Moscow, from Novgorod and painted in around 1400. A popular Christ Pantocrator model then developed from this and other prototypes in the second half of the 17th century at a workshop in the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow, which was the inspiration for the Uffizi’s icons.

The ornate throne with scrolls and Classical style leaf motifs is an approximation of the complex, richly decorated models fashionable in the last quarter of the 17th century. The stool is not three dimensional but the complex oval-shaped pedestal with its multiple steps replacing the customary rectangular pedestal reveals Baroque influences. The painting technique used shows a tendency to simplification shared by other small icons in the Uffizi's 18th century icon collection.

Text by
Daniela Parenti
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