Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Hagia Hesychia

I've been working on a new icon, this time in a more Russian vein than usual, called Jesus Christ Holy Silence. It's about half done: above is a snapshot of the work in progress. The drapery needs to be shadowed, the hair needs to be textured, and the wings have to be repainted and gilded.

The type is rare: it's an image of Christ prior to the Incarnation, as pre-incarnate Word (Silence). As a heavenly being---for want of a better word---Christ is winged, and is represented as an androgynous youth to symbolise his connection with Sophia, God's personified Wisdom, who is usually depicted as feminine. The folded hands over the breast indicate utter kenotic silence. The halo is both red (divine) and blue (human) in the form of an eightfold star: the hidden eighth point represents the day outside of the seven days of creation, or eternity. This is therefore an image of Christ 'from eternity', begotten, not made.

1 comment:

Yewtree said...

Lovely. I didn't know the symbolism - that wasn't mentioned in the other page I read about Hagia Hesychia. As you know, I am very fond of silence, and I like the gender ambivalence of this image.

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