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A VERY RARE AND VERY FINE ICON SHOWING THE EUCHARIST Russian, Old Believer's Workshop, circa 1860 Tempera on wood panel with two splints on the back. The haloes made of gold. The faces rendered finely with soft colours. The border elaborately decorated with foliate scrolls and strap work. Border damaged. 40.6 x 35.8 cm. The icon has a unique composition. It thematises one of the The icon has a unique composition. It thematises one of the main sacraments of the Church: the Eucharist, the transformation of the prepared gifts (bread and wine) into the Body and Blood. The purpose of this sacrament is the consecration of the body and blood of Christ. The purpose of this sacrament is to sanctify the faithful, as each communicant carries a particle of Christ, God himself, within him. In terms of content, the icon conceives of this great sacrament as the identity of the Holy Gifts, over which the Eucharistic Prayer is said, to the true Body and Blood of Christ. In the centre of the composition, within a bright red rhombus, is Jesus Christ. Standing at the altar, his right hand is folded in a gesture of blessing, and with his left hand he points to the prosphora (bread) and the chalice containing the wine. A red rhombus is superimposed on a blue square forming an eight-pointed figure with images of angels in the corners. The corners are inscribed in a green globe, framed by baroque elements in the form of branches and flowers. Inside the cartouches is a text from the Gospel that describes the content of the image: "I am the bread that came down from the earth // I am the bread that made my flesh // and I am the bread that drank my blood // and I am the bread that drank my blood // and I am the bread that drank my blood // and I am the bread that drank my blood. My blood // will have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6: 51,54). In the four corners are representations of the four saints James, Basil the Great, John the Theologian and Gregory Dvoeslov, Pope of Rome. On the left and right are raised angel figures, one holding the chalice with the Holy Gifts (left), the second holding the censer with the burning coals. In the corners are the figures of the four evangelists, writing the Gospel texts. Thus the icon reveals the history of the formation of the doctrine of the Eucharist from the Gospel texts to the performance of the sacrament through liturgy and practice. The theology of the Eucharist was witnessed to in the New Testament, established by Jesus Christ himself at the Last Supper, in the instructions to the disciples and in the references to the administration of the Eucharist in apostolic times, quotations are found in each of the Gospels (Jn. 6: 51-56; Mt. 26: 17-30; Mk. 14: 12-26; Lk. 22: 7-39). The first liturgy was composed by St. James, the Brother of God; three texts are used in the modern Church: the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Liturgy of the Sanctified Gifts attributed to St. Gregory Dvoësloff, Pope of Rome. This icon indicates all the authors of the liturgy. An interesting feature of the icon is its possible origin in a workshop of the Old Believers, as witnessed by the writing of Christ's name by IC XC and the double-fingered blessing of Christ. The icon is distinguished by its programmatic character, the author's interpretation of the theme and the uniqueness of the composition. VERY RARE AND VERY FINE ICON WITH CHRIST AND THE EUCHARIST Russia, Old Believers' workshop, c. 1860 Wooden panel with two reverse sponki. Egg tempera on chalk ground, partial gilding. 40,6 x 35,8 cm. Margins dam. The icon has a unique composition. It deals with one of the main sacraments of the church: the Eucharist, the transformation of the prepared gifts (bread and wine) into the body and blood. The purpose of this sacrament is the consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ. The purpose of this sacrament is to sanctify the faithful, as each communicant carries a particle of Christ, God himself, within him. In terms of content, the icon conceives of this great sacrament as the identity of the Holy Gifts, over which the Eucharistic Prayer is said, to the true Body and Blood of Christ. In the centre of the composition, within a bright red rhombus, is Jesus Christ. Standing at the gift table, his right hand is folded in a gesture of blessing, and with his left hand he points to the prosphora (bread) and the chalice containing the wine. A red rhombus is superimposed on a blue square forming an eight-pointed figure, with images of angels in the corners. The corners are inscribed in a green globe, framed by baroque elements in the form of branches and flowers. In the cartouches there is a text from the Gospel that describes the content of the image: ''I am the bread that came down from the earth // I am the bread that made my flesh // u

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