The Descent of the Holy Spirit


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Icon of the Pentecost

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Icon nb 18

Size : 29 x 40 cm.

Lime board

Gilded haloes and background. Egg tempera. Assist.


The icon depicts "the twelve Apostles" seated on a semi-circle, an arrangement that utilizes the symbolism of the circle, receiving the Holy Spirit. The historical reality of the individuals gathered at Pentecost makes way for the traditional depiction in the icon as Matthias, James, son of Alphae and Jude are replaced by Paul and the Evangelists Marc and Luc.

In the dark vault stands a man who is wearing rich clothes that symbolize the visible world awaiting the final achievement of salvation brought by Christ. He is depicted as an old man called" cosmos " who is a prisoner " of darkness and shadow of dead " (Luke I, 79), He holds a linen cloth that contains twelve scrolls symbolizing the preaching of the twelve Apostles.

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