Pantocrator

Here is a sixth century encaustic icon from St Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai. Encaustic involves adding pigments to heated beeswax. How wonderful to have an image in colour, without the limitations of mosaic, from the sixth century!

Pantocrator means Ruler of All, God Almighty, El Shaddai. The two different eyes are thought to symbolise the divine and human nature of Christ. The hand is raised in blessing, as in almost all images of Jesus. The left hand holds the Word of God, as in the image below.

In the Rublev Trinity, I have read that the red symbolises Jesus’ humanity, and the blue his divinity, and the golden robe of God symbolises that the Father is hid from our sight. At Hagia Sophia, is blue humanity and gold divinity?

I wrote of wanting to own a Pantocrator icon: but why should I wish to, when I can look at these representations and others, on any computer, at any time, and visit galleries or churches and see other beauties?

Image of Christ from Hagia Sophia

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