2.119 Three saints arranged vertically
Wood, egg tempera, 155.5 x 32.5 cm
This long, narrow icon with its carved border was made at the time the 1611 iconostasis was erected in the Protaton (see no. 8.4), in order to fill the space left when the five great icons from the earlier (1542) screen were placed in the new iconostasis (see 2.114).
The subject matter of the icon is three saints arranged vertically, an unusual device for works destined for the iconostases of Athonite churches. At the bottom is St Athanasios the Athonite holding an open scroll, in the middle St Spyridon in bishop's vestments and the usual covering for his head, and at the top the vision of St Peter of Alexandria. In all three cases the painting is mediocre, as with the other icons of the 1611 iconostasis. Shades of brown have been used for the faces and other exposed parts, with gentle gradations to render the darker and lighter areas. A few white brush-strokes pick out the highlights. The drapery is flat, no attempt having been made to give volume to the bodies. The folds are harsh, with straight lines and angles, and there is also some distortion, as in the case of St Athanasios's hands.