The Beheading of St. John The Baptist, handmade Russian icon, Moscow. Early 18th Century
Icon of The Beheading of St. John The Baptist.
Handmade Russian icon, Moscow. Early 18th (1720-1740)
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: 31.5x27 cm, 12.4x10.6 inch
Above is an icon of The Head of St John the Forerunner (Глава Cв Иоанна Предтечи), a type of icon which flourished within the Russian Empire during the 19th century.
John the Baptist is mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus and revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Mandaeism. He is called a prophet by all of these faiths and is honored as a saint in many Christian traditions. According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself and Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming. John is also identified as the spiritual successor of the prophet Elijah. According to the New Testament, John the Baptist was Jesus Christ's cousin.
Some scholars maintain that John was influenced by the semi-ascetic Essenes, who expected an apocalypse and practiced rituals corresponding strongly with baptism, although no direct evidence substantiates this. John used baptism as the central symbol or sacrament of his messianic movement. Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus and some scholars believe Jesus was a follower or disciple of John. The New Testament texts in which John is mentioned portray him as rejecting this idea. Several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus' early followers had previously been followers of John.
John was sentenced to death and subsequently beheaded by Herod Antipas sometime between 28 and 36 AD after John rebuked him for divorcing his wife, Phasaelis, and unlawfully taking Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip I.