Christ the High Priest
This icon is based on the 13 c. Russian icon ‘Christ with Golden Hair’ (which also belongs to the early iconographic type ‘Christ the High Priest’. In the later version of this iconographic type Our Lord is always depicted with the hat of the Archbishop or in Tsar’s crown. I hold the view that no crown is fitting for Our Lord (our “glorious crowns” reduce His depiction to a level of an earthy king) but the Crown of Thorns and this is why I chose to depict it. Our sins and mockery are His crown, now as well. Hence this icon combines Christ in glory with the Suffering Christ.
There is no typical halo- the heavens are His halo. The green colour of the Cross alludes to the notion of “the life-giving Cross”. The number of medallions or seals points to the mysteries. Seven big medallions on the Cross and heaven – to seven Sacraments and seven lamps of the Apocalypse; eight medallions on the cloak of Christ – to eternity; three medallions on the Cross – to the Most Holy Trinity; four big seals with the Name of Christ (Jesus Christ, Alpha and Omega) – to four elements of this world which He assumed in His Incarnation; twelve small medallions on the Cross – to the twelve Apostles.
Christ the High Priest
9/2017, egg tempera & gold leaf on board
Care and technical information. Please keep this paper for future reference.
This icon is made with egg tempera using only natural minerals like malachite, hematite, lapis-lazuli and others. The properties of this medium are very different from more common nowadays oils or acrylics. During the first year the slow process of binding the paints suspended in the original emulsion continues to take place, eventually forming a hardened resilient film. This is crucial for the future preservation of the icon. During this period an icon is fragile and needs to be handled with special care.
The icon, during the first year and after, should be kept in dry room, away from open windows and direct sunlight. It can be dusted with fine, soft, dry brush or soft feather duster. Never wipe or rub the icon, especially with something wet; wetness can damage the colours. The surface also needs to be protected from accidental scratches; with time, however, its’ resilience will continue growing. A certain unevenness of sheen is typical of icons due to the unevenness of the layers of natural pigments and their different ability to absorb varnish.
Icons do not need a frame. However, if additional protection is desired an icon can be placed under glass, but only after one year of thorough drying.