Icon of Emmanuel (The Saviour) – J38

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Emmanuel means “God with us” and is often used to speak of Christ in His younger days.  Here the Almighty God Incarnate as a Beardless Child sits on a throne as the Ruler of the universe.  The Divine Infant’s facial features are those of an adult to portray that although He was born on earth as a little baby, He was always consciously the All-Knowing God.  In His left hand He holds a Gospel opened to the Prophet Isaiah, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord….” (Is 61:1-2)

The two small figures below are identified as the Tsar’s favorites boyar Artamon Matveev and his wife Evdokia, and they are kissing His feet.  The difference in size between the Lord and those depicted helps emphasize the Glory and Majesty of God.  This 1670 Russian icon of the Moscow School is from a wooden palace in Kolomenskoye built by Tsar Alexei Michaelovitch.

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Emmanuel, Enthroned




Kolomenskoee District Museum, Moscow, Russia


17th c. (Mid)