Icon of Holy Wisdom – F78

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An early 18th century Russian icon in the Moscow School but modeled after a 15th century work from Novgorod, Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) is shown here as a winged Angel of Fire sitting on an imperial throne personifying the motherly principles of all that exist.  According to Holy Tradition, traces of this Holy Wisdom are found in all living beings.  Many important early churches were named Hagia Sophia, including the Emperor Justinian’s great church in Constantinople built in 537.

Holy Wisdom carries a scroll of wisdom and a scepter of angelic dignity.  The Angel is flanked by the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Forerunner.  Above is the throne of Universal Judgment (Etimanzia) surrounded by angels who cover their hands in veneration.  Christ sits on a throne formed by the symbols of the four Evangelists just below the throne of Etimanzia.  Four saints are on the edges of the icon: The Guardian Angel, Saint Dionysius the Areopagite, Saint Irene, and Saint Artemius.  Let us seek True Wisdom:  to love Christ and all of His Commandments, to venerate the Holy Saints and Angelic Hosts, and to humbly worship God alone.     

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Egg Tempera




18th c. (Early)