Orthodox icon | The Holy Trinity | Visit of the Three Angels | Pentecost Icon | 24736

Russian icon

35.5 x 30.5 cm | 14.0 x 12.0 in

End of the 19th century

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


Depicted is the Holy Trinity according to the Old Testament – the visit of the three angel messengers to Abraham and Sarah in the grove of Mamre. This visit indicates the appearance of the Trinity. The three angels are seated around a table with a goblet on it. Each holds a staff, the symbol of authority, representing the same divine authority.

The visit that Abraham received in Mamre from “three men” – as it is called in the Bible (Gen 18.2) – and which some early church fathers understood as a mysterious reference to the three-person God, is seen by the Eastern Orthodox Church as the interpreted appearance of the Divine Trinity. While the Western Church has celebrated its own Trinity feast (on the first Sunday after Pentecost) since the high Middle Ages, the Eastern Church commemorates the appearance of the three angels to Abraham on Pentecost Sunday as a symbol of the triune God.

In the center, the three angels are hosted by Abraham and Sarah.

Clockwise scenes:

  • Abraham wants to sacrifice his son Isaac. An angel prevents it.
  • Abraham and Lot leave Sodom and Gomorrah without looking back. But Lot’s wife was not obedient. She stopped and looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.
  • Sara bakes bread.
  • Abraham bids farewell to the guests.
  • Abraham washes the guests’ feet.
  • Abraham greets the guests.
  • A servant slaughters the fattened calf.
  • Two servants prepare the table.
  • Abraham and Sarah.

Very beautiful and fine miniature painting.

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