Orthodox icon | Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan | Theophany | 24991

Russian icon

Russian icon

Metal basma

34.5 x 30 cm | 13.6 x 11.8 in

End of the 18th century

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


All four gospels record that Jesus came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. The pictorial motif can be found very early in Christian art and is later developed richly in connection with the festive hymns and baptismal rites.

The following pictorial scheme has developed in icon painting: Jesus is standing in the waters of the Jordan while John is being baptized. Serving angels, with cloths in their hands, stand on the bank as witnesses. It is not unusual to see sea creatures and the Jordan god fleeing from Christ or worshiping him in the Jordan floods, which are usually depicted squeezed into a narrow rocky valley.

The “Baptism of Christ” is the festival icon for January 6, one of the oldest Christian festivals. Its origins go back to pagan, but also Christian consecration of the Nile on the occasion of its regular flooding. According to the Roman calendar, they took place between December 25 and January 25 and can be traced back to the 2nd/3rd century This feast of January 6th finally received the designation “Theophany – God appearance”. The focus is still the water consecration, which was carried out with great participation by the population on the nearest river.

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