Palm Sunday, handmade Russian icon, 19th Century.
Icon of Palm Sunday.
Handmade Russian icon, 19th century.
The icon is in very good condition. It is made in four different levels,
First wood, second canvas, third gold leaf and fourth the painting level.
Size: 32.5x24.5 cm, 12.7x9.6 inch.
The Icons themselves are similar in composition. To the left is the Mount of Olives and to the right is the city of Jerusalem, often depicted with the domed Temple (in later icons it may also anachronistically be topped by a Cross, like a church). In the center, heading towards Jerusalem is Jesus Christ sat upon either a donkey or a colt. The common understanding is that it was the donkey upon which Christ rode into Jerusalem, even though He commanded both a colt and a donkey to be brought to Him. Nevertheless, both animals would have been shocking to the Jews in Jerusalem: the donkey because it is an animal of peace and the Jews expected a conquering, war-like, Messiah; the colt because it was an animal associated with the Gentiles, whilst the Jews expected the Messiah to be only for them.
Despite the apparently inauspicious entry, the icons visibly depict the invisible glory and identity of Jesus: through His halo, and through the scroll He holds, symbolizing Holy Wisdom behind Christ, His disciples follow, usually headed by Peter and John – both Apostles being described as “pillars of the Church” by the Fathers
The Twelve Apostles are often shown deep in conversation; good iconographers will depict them with expressions mixing wonder with apprehension. This is not surprising, as they had already shown consternation at Jesus’ insistence in returning to Judea due to the Jews’ threats.