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Icon of the Pantocrator (Samokov School, Bulgaria) – J88

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The famous 19th century iconographer Christo Dimitrov painted this icon in the Samokov School of Bulgarian iconography.  It is now in the National History Museum in Sophia, Bulgaria.  It was originally from the iconostasis or icon altar screen of the Church of the Blessed Virgin at the Karloukovo Monastery.   The slightly rosy cheeks, almond eyes, off-white face, and gold accents on Christ’s outer garment of this icon are typical of Dimitrov’s other works in the churches of Belovo and Sophia at that time.

Each national or local church of the Orthodox Church has a unique and distinct history and artistic expression within the framework of the continuum of the historic Apostolic Church which has come down to us complete and whole since the time of Pentecost.  Christ Himself is the head of the Church in Orthodox understanding, and has appointed those bishops to administer the Holy Mysteries in local councils which frequently meet to confer with the Holy Spirit on the functioning of the Church in this fallen but also sanctified world.  This icon is a particular expression of Bulgarian iconography and culture.

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National History Museum, Sophia, Bulgaria


19th c. (Early)


Dimitrov, Christo