22.5 x 19.5 cm | 8.9 x 7.7 in
This theme, which is often encountered in the Orthodox churches, is called “Dormition of the Mother of God”, popularly also “Death of Mary”.
In the painter’s handbook of Mount Athos, the scene is described in chapter 394 as follows: “In a house the most holy lies dead on a bed. The Blessed Mother has crossed her hands in front of her. A Hebrew has his hands cut off in front of the bed and an angel with a bared sword is standing in front of him. At her feet is the apostle Peter, next to her head are Saint Paul and Saint John the theologian. Christ hovers over her and holds in his arms her holy soul, clad in white; around him is a lot of light and a host of angels”.
Christ – in a red mandorla – has descended from heaven. He was already crucified. Now he wants to bring the soul of the fallen Mother of God into eternity. According to the orthodox view, Mary gave her soul into the hands of the Son, who takes her to heaven. According to this interpretation, the death of Mary is the archetype of our resurrection. The apostles, who had already evangelized all over the world, gathered again at the bier. The Hebrew is historically handed down as Jechoniak and is said to have tried to overturn the bier of the Mother of God; to atone for this iniquity, the angel cut off his hands. This feast day of the Orthodox Church is on August 15. It has been traceable since the 6th century. The topic is also known under the Greek name “Koimesis”.
On the sides: Guardian Angel and Saint Venerable Euphrosyne of Alexandria.
Saint Euphrosyne, the daughter of Paphnutios, who later became a monk and, according to some tradition, became a martyr, is said to have lived as Smaragdus in male clothing in a monastery in Alexandria for almost forty years, until her true gender was only recognized shortly before her death.
Above: blessing God the Father.
Metalloklad originally from the icon: Mother of God “Joy of All Oppressed”.