Icon of the Pantocrator – J26

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This contemporary Greek icon is of Christ as Pantocrator, which in Greek means “Ruler of All.”  It was painted by N. Lionda and is part of a set of icons called Deisis (Greek for “Supplicating”) which shows Christ in the center as Pantocrator and flanked on either side by certain Saints, in particular the Virgin on His right hand (T35) and Saint John the Baptist on His left (S132). 

Traditionally understood, this set of icons expresses why the sons of Zebedee, Saint John and Saint James, could not be promised to sit on Christ’s right and left hand in His Kingdom, as these places were already reserved (as this Deisis iconographic tradition preserves).  In some Deisis icons there are other Saints like Saint Peter and Saint Paul on either side further from the center.  The hands of all the Saints who surround Christ are then lifted up towards Christ as to ask or supplicate for His gracious intercession. 

This icon of Christ is unusual in that He is shown on a blue grey background upon which He seems to float almost as if there were clouds.  Christ rules with the scepter of Love but not indulgence, revealing now the secrets of our hearts if we let Him. 

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20th c. (Late)


Lionda, N.