The Ikon Studio
Icons of Christ
The title "Christ the Wisdom of God" derives from Paul's expression in I Corinthians 1.3: "...to those who have heard his call, Jews and Greeks alike, he is the power of God and the wisdom of God."
The icon shown here was commissioned by St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Washington, D.C., for the celebration of the historic first visit to Washington and America of a patriarch of Constantinople--His All-Holiness Dimitrios I. The icon was presented to him for his blessing on July 2, 1990.
The title "Jesus the Divine Word" leaps off the open page of the Gospel Book he holds open. The text, rendered in Latin and Greek, announces the opening line of John's Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word."
face of Christ, detail
This is our attempt at a reconstruction of the famous sixth-century icon of Christ, discovered at St. Catherine's monastery in the Sinai. One of the oldest surviving panel icons we have today, it's particularly appealing because of the plastic modeling of features. The artist took anatomical details based on observation, and successfully passed them through the filter of stylization. The result is a an image of Christ that's accessible yet transcendent at one and the same time.
Sinai Christ, detail
Christ in Glory
Christ is here depicted enthroned in heaven, surrounded by the six-winged seraphim, who glorify him. Their words are displayed in the open book on Christ's knee: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts ..." The text is from Isaiah 6, 3, where the prophet describes his vision of God's throne surrounded by the angelic court.
Christ in Glory, detail
The glorious figure of Christ is surrounded by an oval orb ("mandorla") and by two curved squares forming an octagonal star. The eight-pointed star symbolizes the "Eighth Day" -- the new age that will supersede the present age, which Genesis describes as completed on the "Seventh Day."
In the triangular corners, you see the symbols of the Evangelists, who proclaim the Gospel to the four ends of the world.
"Jesus Christ, the Merciful"
The icon of "Jesus Christ, the Merciful" seeks to express Christ's boundless compassion toward us and all humanity. An icon that succeeds in imaging this healing compassion would be appropriate in a number of locations, for example, the reconciliation room found in some Roman Catholic churches.
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