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Athos Holy Mount

Portable Icons
2.25 The Archangel Gabriel
14th c., 3rd quarter
Chelandari Monastery
Wood, egg tempera, 100 x 63 cm


The Original New Testament

This icon of the Archangel Gabriel is one of a group of eleven icons which made up the Great Deesis on the iconostasis in the katholikon of Chelandari Monastery in the third quarter of the fourteenth century. Of this impressive group survive the Virgin, John the Baptist, Michael and Gabriel, Peter and Paul, and the four Evangelists. Only the icon of Christ, the central subject of the monumental composition of the Great Deesis, no longer survives. Three of the icons are displayed in the exhibition: the Archangel Gabriel, St Luke, and St Matthew.

Gabriel is depicted from the waist up turning three-quarters towards his right. In his right hand he holds a sceptre, his left is stretched forth in a gesture of supplication. On the gold ground of the icon is the inscription: 'The Archangel Gabriel'.

With its noble bearing and broad body culminating in a relatively small head, the origins of this figure lie in works of the early Palaeologan period, such as the icon of the Archangel Gabriel in Vatopedi Monastery (Tsigaridas 1996 (1), figs. 320-1).

However, the broad luminous face with the sharp olive-green shadow emphasising the volume, the localised linear highlighting, and the geometrical drapery with its luminous sheen are also seen in works of the second half of the fourteenth century, such as the Annunciation on the bema doors in the Great Lavra (Vocotopoulos 1995, no. 116).

Bibliography: Radojcic 1955 (1), p. 175. Xyngopoulos 1957 (1), p. 131. Djuric 1960, pp. 333-51. Radojcic, Icτnes. Bogdanovic - Djuric - Medakovic 1978, p. 108, fig. 85. Weitzmann et al. 1982, pp. 141, 191. Mueller - Djordjevic 1984, pl. 21. Djuric 1989 (1), fig. 14.

Index of exhibits of Monastery of Chelandari
14th 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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