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416 

AN IMPORTANT AND MONUMENTAL ICON SHOWING THE LAST JUDGEMENT Russian, 17th century Tempera on wood panel with kovcheg. This monumental icon visualizes in detail the text of Revelation. It begins with the preparation of the Throne in the center of the composition, where the instruments of the Passion and the closed Gospels are placed on an altar attended by two angels and groups of saints. Above, Christ the Savior is shown on a throne supported by fiery wheels descending from Heaven flanked by his Mother and John the Baptist in supplication. To the left and right the Apostles are portrayed seated, each holding an open Book. The row behind depict holy figures and crowds of angels. The upper part of the panel illustrates scenes of Paradise; to the left is the celestial banquet, to the right, are two angels unfurling the deep blue skies that include the sun and the moon. Below, against a series of circular glories, there is a visual narrative of God the Father sending his Son for a second time to earth in order "to judge the living and the dead" as promised in the Nicene Creed. The lower half of the icon depicts Hell; it is dominated by a large snake, the personification of the Devil, bearing rings, each representing a sin, and angels with spears that push the sinners to chastisement and torture; to the left and right of this central composition, two vertical arrangements show respectively the ascent of Just Monks to Paradise and the expulsion of the sinners to the fiery fields of Hell and the mouth of multi-headed, devouring beast. The icon is meticulously rendered with deep colors, the scenes on the upper part are structured around clusters and swirling clouds, the ochre background is inscribed with the text of the Apocalypse. Areas of restoration. 145 x 122 cm. Literature: Icona. Volto Del Mistero, Milan 1991, 120. Exhibited: Icona. Volto Del Mistero, Milano 1991, 120. MEANINGFUL AND MONUMENTAL ICON WITH THE LATEST COURT Russia, 17th century Composite of three boards with two reverse sponki. Kovcheg, levkas, egg tempera on chalk ground, partial gilding. 145 x 122 cm. Multi-layered and complex composition. In the centre of the upper half of the picture Christ is enthroned as the judge of the world, he is flanked by the Mother of God, John the Baptist as well as apostles and archangels. Above the enthroned Christ appears the New Testament Trinity. In the center of the picture, angels line the altar with the true cross. To the left and right are the Old Testament prophets and kings. Below left, the Apostle Peter opens the door to Paradise for the righteous. The left margin illustrates the monks who have lived a pious life and ascend to the Heavenly Jerusalem, where they are welcomed by angels. Along the right margin is the fall of the damned into hellfire. In the lower right corner, the impious beggars, monks and peasants, the unfaithful wives, the sinful priests, bishops, princes and kings are led by Satan on a chain into the mouth of the hell monster, and in small panels the punishments for the damned are shown. A snake rises from the mouth of the hell monster and tries to grab Adam's heel. On its body are enumerated the deadly sins for which one is punished in hell. Elaborately inscribed at the borders, with a Church Slavonic pictorial titulus at the top. Partial rest. Literature: Icona. Volto Del Mistero, Milan 1991, 120. Provenance: Belgian private collection.

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