Orthodox icon | Easter | Christ's Resurrection and Descent | Palekh | 24690

Russian icon

Painting School of Palekh

31.5 x 25.5 cm | 12.4 x 10.0 in

19th century

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


Easter: Christ’s resurrection and descent into the realm of the dead (Hades).

Top left: the crucifixion. The apostle Thomas comes to faith and Peter at the empty tomb. In the center: the resurrection of Jesus from the grave, guarded by soldiers.

Next to it: Jesus and the two disciples in Emmaus (Emmaus).

Below: Jesus stands on the gates of the underworld and frees Adam and Eve from the maw of death and with them the righteous of the Old Testament.

Left: Angels subdue the devil. In the throat you can see two devils with the gates of the underworld. Accompanied by angels, the righteous enter paradise, led by John the forerunner and the good thief.

Bottom right: Jesus saves Peter walking on the water when he threatens to drown.


The expression “descent into hell” is widespread but does not correspond to the statements of the Christian creeds. These do not know any “descent into hell”, but the descent or descent of Christ into Hades, into the underworld or the realm of the dead. Apocryphal Gospels, to which the icon painters adhered, depict this decline very dramatically. Striding from the depths of a mighty aureole and flanked by his disciples with John the forerunner and the prophets of the Old Covenant, the risen One shatters the gates of Hades. Representing all of humanity, he tears Adam and Eve out of the tombs with a lordly gesture. In the underworld itself, angels torment the underworld companion’s death and the devil for all eternity. Even today the Orthodox community reproduces this descent of Christ in a solemn procession around the dark church. Then the cheer sounds: “Christ has risen from the dead. He has truly risen. “Here is an example from the great wealth of Easter hymns from the Eastern Church, which depict the” Anastasis “(Greek for” resurrection “) and thus also the Easter icon.

Museum-quality icon. Exceptionally well preserved and very detailed.

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