Icon of the Epitaphios – F54

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Description

This moving early 17th century Cretan icon was painted by the famous iconographer Emmanuel Lambardos.  The Lord of Life has died for us a most painful and humiliating death and is here laid down before His Cross.  Saint Joseph of Arimathea has just taken Him down, and is beginning to wrap His legs with a clean linen cloth while Saint Nicodemos, leaning against a ladder, looks on.  The Most Holy Virgin cradles her Son tenderly in her arms and laments with Saint John the Beloved Disciple leaning over and the Myrrh-Bearing Women wailing and weeping behind them.  It is the saddest day in all of history, yet brings the promise of life for us.

Now almost two thousand years later, we are so familiar with the story of Christ’s redemption of the human race by His Passion, Death, Burial, and Resurrection, we can forget the very real and immediate grief and bewilderment that those closest to Him felt on this Great and Holy Friday.  They did not understand the fullness of what had happened theologically, or how God would use this to effect our salvation.  What they did know, deeply and personally, was the Light and Love of their life had just died.

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Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A
Heritage

Cretan

Movable Church Feast Day 1

Great & Holy Friday

Style

Egg Tempera

Location

Byzantine Museum, Athens, Greece

Iconographer

Lambardos, Emmanuel

Date

17th c. (Early)