Icon of Christ Pantocrator Mosaic (12th c.) – J84

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From Byzantine heritage, this 12th century icon now resides at the Museum of Bargello in Florence, Italy.  It is a mosaic icon made of hundreds of individual small tessera or small pieces of polished glass or stone (often marble) which are pieced together, inlaid, attached, and made into the comprehensive whole icon picture.   The border of the icon is made of a design of small equal-bar dark crosses surrounded by gold.  There is visible damage in this mosaic which can be seen in the many cracks over the whole icon, and there is a major fissure just to the right of His Face as we look at the icon.  In Christ’s halo is inscribed a Cross to remind us that His Crucifixion and Death are the road to understanding the Resurrected Lord, for when He appeared to His Disciples behind closed doors, He showed them the marks of the Crucifixion in His Hands and the wound in His Side.

This mosaic shows forth an image of the Lord as “Pantocrator” (the Greek word for “Ruler of All”).  Christ rules in  the lives of those who willingly turn from self-rule and self-will to loving obedience to Christ and to His Body, the Holy Church. 

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Mosaic, Pantocrator


Museum of Bargello, Florence, Italy


12th c. (Late)