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Athos Holy Mount

Church Embroidery
11.4 Phelonion with the Tree of Jesse
Late 18th-early 19th c.
Xeropotamou Monastery
160 x 147 cm
Russian workshop


The Original New Testament

Three rows of a stylized floral motif divide the back of the vestment into two parts. On the raised collar is a sunburst with the figure of Christ as Great High Priest, in a sea-blue sakkos and a gold-embroidered omophorion. His peculiar mitre is shaped like a three-peaked crown. Placed around this ornament are four seraphs.

Embroidered on the back is Jesse, reclining; a vine stem rising out of his chest branches into symmetrical off-shoots, each of which ends in a small embroidered medallion enclosing one of the prophets (see no. 11.31). Small leaves and flowers dot the entire surface.

The phelonion (chasuble) is of red velvet, embroidered with gold thread and silks of many colours. The innovative design, the execution technique, and the unusual figure of Christ, with his three-peaked crown, suggest a secular Russian workshop.

Bibliography: Eudokimos 1971², fig. 7.

M. Th.
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