Orthodox icon | The Holy Wisdom Sophia | Hagia Sophia | 24772

Russian icon

34.5 x 28 cm | 13.6 x 11.0 in

19th century

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


As a personification of God’s wisdom, a royally dressed angel with a crown and scepter sits on a throne, on the left Maria in an ornamental position with the baby Jesus floating in front of her breast and on the right John the forerunner. The robe of Hagia Sophia is red. Above it the divine judge’s throne (Ethimasia) and six adoring angels. On the edge: Saint Triphyllios, Bishop of Leukosia in Cyprus and the Saint Martyr Eupraxia of Constantinople. Kiev or Novgorod variant.

The idea of God’s wisdom (Greek “sophia”) plays an important role in the Eastern Church and its spiritual culture. “Wisdom built her house, she erected her seven pillars, slaughtered her cattle, mixed her wine, including hers Table set and their maids sent out! Their call comes out on the heights of the city: Let those inexperienced come here “(Prov 9, 1-4). It was Sophia cathedrals through which Eastern spiritual and spiritual ideas were represented in Constantinople, Kiev, Novgorod and elsewhere. Not only the invitation of wisdom, reminiscent of Plato’s “banquet”, to take part in the meal of knowledge in her seven-pillar house, was important for the visual arts in the East. According to Proverbs 8, 22-31, wisdom was at the beginning with God as being Favorite on all days of creation: “I played on the wide circle of the earth and had my delight in the children of men.”

The New Testament transferred these glorious visions to Christ, whom Paul referred to as “God’s power and God’s wisdom” (1 Cor 1:24). Sermons, interpretations of scriptures and hymns by the church fathers did the rest to add “God’s wisdom” to Christ as man to make a popular motif of monumental and icon painting. Finally, wisdom also became a symbol of ecclesiastical teaching, for example in dealing with heretical views, according to which Christ would have become nothing more than an angel at the incarnation.

Saint Triphyllios (June 12) was Bishop of Leukosia in Cyprus and emulate of Saint Spyridon. He passed away at an advanced age around 370.

Saint Martyr Eupraxia of Constantinople (July 25), received from God at the age of 20 the gift of grace to work miracles. Through her prayer she healed illnesses and casted out demons.

Old-believers icon.

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