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Athos Holy Mount

Portable Icons
2.108 The Virgin Paraklesis
Pantokrator Monastery
Wood, egg tempera, 65 x 51 cm
The painter Michael (Thessaloniki)


The Original New Testament

A superb work of art, dated 1783, by a named painter, Michael of Thessaloniki. The Virgin, 'The Mother of God, the Suppliant', is portrayed half-length with Christ seated on her left arm. Two flying angels shown among clouds are crowning the Virgin, and hold open scrolls with well-known verses from the Akathistos Hymn: 'Rejoice that you are the seat of the King' and 'Rejoice that you bear the One that bears up the world'. Silver haloes, probably contemporary with the icon, adorn the two principal figures.

The artist has made a great effort to render the details of the ornamentation, especially of the garments. Particularly noteworthy are the golden hem of the Virgin's mantle and Christ's gauzy tunic.

Along the lower border is an open scroll with the dedicatory inscription of the donor, the Hieromonk Arsenios, consisting of an archaic epigramme to the Virgin and the name of artist from Thessaloniki: 'ΓΗ ΓΕΝΕΩΝ ΠΡΟΜΟC ΟΙΑ ΕΟΥCΑ ΜΑΤΕΡ ΕΥ ΑΝΑΚΤΟC ΠΑΝΤΩΝ CΩCΟΝ ΔΗ ΚΑΜΕ ΑΠΟΛΛΥΜΕΝΟΝ - ΑΨΠΓ( ΘΕCCΑΛ(ΟΝΙΚΗ) - Η ΜΕΝ ΤΕΧΝΗ ΜΙΧΑΗΛ Η ΔΕ ΔΑΠΑΝΗ ΑΡCΕΝΙΟΥ ΙΕΡΟΜΟΝΑΧΟΥ' (Leader of the land of the brave, good Mother of the King of all, save me who is lost - 1783 Thessaloniki - the skill (supplied) by Michael and the cost (borne) by Arsenios, hieromonk). The restrained use of bright colours, the traditional type of the Virgin and Child and the usual silver haloes, which must have been attached from the beginning, did much to reduce the western appearance of the work and permit its acceptance as an Orthodox icon.

Bibliography: Unpublished.

Index of exhibits of Monastery of Pantokrator
18th century

The Authentic Greek New Testament Bilingual New Testament I

Icon of the Mother of God and New Testament Reader Promote Greek Learning
Three Millennia of Greek Literature

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