Baptism / Presentation of Our Lord (A double-sided tablet icon)
Date: XV century.
Iconographic school/art center: Greek school (Athos?)
Origin: From the collection of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius. Donated by cellar Velyamin (Veniamin) Pleshcheev.
Material: Levkas, tempera, canvas
Dimensions: height 23 cm, width 18 cm
A double-sided tablet icon with a depiction of The Baptism on one side and The Presentation of Our Lord on the other. The icon is composed of two bonded thin pieces of fabric covered with chalk ground on both sides. The background of the icons is golden-colored, the images are cased in cinnabar oklads.
The Baptism. In the center, against the background of Jordan, is the figure of Jesus Christ. Christ is shown as if making a step forward to John the Baptist, his right hand is slightly raised in a blessing gesture. On either side of him, on the rocky banks, are the figures of John the Baptist and three angels kneeling before Christ. John the Baptist is shown standing on the left, wearing a mantle and himation, with his right resting on Christ's head. On the top, in the central part, is a segment of heaven with a vertically descending ray and a depiction of God the Holy Spirit as a white pigeon inside a circle with three outgoing rays. In the river waters are fishes and the figure of a god personifying the Jordan as man pouring water out of a jar.
The Presentation of Our Lord. In the central part of the icon is the figure of the Mother of God walking towards Simeon. She is holding in her arms the Infant Christ who is blessing Simeon. Simeon stands on a doorstep of the temple with his head inclined over Christ. Behind the Mother of God are the figures of the righteous Joseph with a sacrificial bird and the prophetess Anna holding a scroll. In the background are the Temple of Jerusalem and a semi-circle wall closing the church yard.
Registration number 2765/2 ИХО. © The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum.
Русский музей. Государственная Третьяковская галерея. Святая Русь. Альманах. Вып. 302. СПб., 2011. 303. С. 484.