"Czar God Almighty Enthroned" 19th Century Russian Icon
Egg tempera and gold and silver leaf
on wood panel
27 1/2" x 42"
The "Lord Almighty (Gospod Vsederzhitel) is Christ as ruler of the universe: I am the Alpha and the Omega says the Lord, Who Is, Who Was, and Who Is To Come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8)
Christ sits on a throne and points to the opened Gospel in his left hand. Surounding Christ's head is the distinctive cross-halo inscribed with the Greek words HO ON, meaning "Who Is", found in Revelation 1:8 and given in Exodus 3:14 as a title of God.
He holds the Gospel open to Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest".
Christ blesses with his right hand. The position of the fingers is signifigant.
The thumb, ring finger and little finger bent together and touching, while the forefinger and slightly bent middle finger are held upright. The three joined fingers symbolize the divine and human natures of Christ. The slight bend in the forefinger and symbolizes the descent of Christ to earth tobecome incarnate as a man. This is a sign of blessing common in icons of the Old Believers.
At the four corners are the saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.