Saint John the Baptist
The icon depicting Saint John the Baptist is a unique jewelry not only because of its wonderful processing with the polished 24K gold leaf but mainly because of its beautifully crafted theme.
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Ιn this unique artwork, which has been crafted at the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos on Mount Athos by monks-hagiographers, the uniqueness of the contemporary Byzantine art stands out. It follows a centuries-old tradition and gives us genuine works of art that remain unchanged over time.
Technically speaking, the face of Saint John the Baptist stands out, for the clean display of the characteristics and for its painting nature, since the proplasmos is heated by the thoughtful touches that brighten the eyes and the forehead. This artistic way attributes to the face a serene expression full of thoughtfulness and refers to techniques of the Palaeologan hagiography. The monk, who is in charge of the iconography-laboratory of the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos, father Luke, applies the principles of the Byzantine art with the use of a unique technique.
In this rare iconography Saint John the Baptist is depicted holding in his right hand a baptismal font in which Christ is depicted blessing while with his right hand he is holding a circular shape that symbolizes the earth. The balance of the composition is formed by these circular shapes while the curved open scroll that opens over the font, records the words of the Baptist: «Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world». With his left hand he is pointing at Christ who as a lamb will be sacrificed in order to save the sinful human race, according to the sayings of Saint John the Baptist. For the Orthodoxy this is the extremely crucial time of the transition from knowledge to awareness, from the prophecy to the actual fulfillment. This is the reason why the Saint is not depicted holding his own head on a plate as Salome had requested, but Jesus Christ.
The icon is a unique jewelry not only because of its wonderful processing with the polished 24K gold leaf but mainly because of its beautifully crafted theme. Saint John the Baptist is wearing a leather tunic, a belt and a cloak. The high quality of the work with the painterly figuration, the gentle aura of the forms with their moderate expression, the brilliant stature, the rhythmic response of the movement of Saint John the Baptist, classify the work among the prominent ones of the collection that the Mount Athos products exhibition presents with the approval and blessing of the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos. The work bears the stamp of authenticity from the Holy Monastery of Mt Athos and has been crafted on natural wood with the use of egg powder and with respect to the rules of the Byzantine iconography.
|Dimensions||2.5 × 38 × 50 cm|