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Icon of Christ Pantocrator (Enameled-Russian, 19th c.) – J72

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The original of this 19th century Russian icon has an extensive background of fine decorative enamel work in floral and leaf design on the oklad (Russian for “metal cover”).  These covers were originally designed both to protect the icons from damage including by human handling, as we often now use glass to protect paintings, and also to beautify and show love and reverence towards the icon subject.  Often when the icon is covered, only the hands and faces in the icon are exposed so that they may be seen and venerated.  In this particular icon, however, more of the figure is visible including the upper chest and the open Gospel book.

The Greek word “Pantocrator” means “Ruler of All” expressing the understanding that Christ is truly over all things, but this truth can only be understood in a heart open to love the Truth and the Goodness that the Lord most perfectly reveals in this imperfect present world.  Now on earth this is not readily perceivable without our minds being illumined by Grace and our conscious cooperation with it, but in the next world He will be manifest in Glory, but how we will feel about it depends on our choices now.

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Enameled & Cloisonne, Pantocrator


19th c.