A RARE RUSSIAN ICON OF GOD THE FATHER, CIRCA 1690.
Here God the Father is depicted as a venerable old white-bearded man delivering a blessing and holding a cross mounted globe symbolizing the cosmos. Painting him on icons in the form of a man was condemned by the Seventh Ecumenical Council and forbidden by the Council of Moscow in 1666. Nevertheless, the image was quite popular and was often placed at the central position on the upper tier of an iconostasis. To satisfy church hierarchy, the subject was often called "The Ancient of Days" rather than "God the Father". The eight pointed design in his halo (called a Glory) symbolizes the six days of creation, the seventh day on which God rested and the eighth day, the Day of Eternity. The painter of this icon was obviously influenced, if not trained at, the Moscow Armory School made famous by Simon Ushakov. The large size of this icon would also suggest that it was once held within an iconostasis, most likely the top tier at center. Because so many icons of this subject matter were ordered destroyed by zealous church leaders, they are today considered somewhat scarce. A finely executed icon. 30 inches x 24.5 inches (76.2 x 62.2 cm).
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