57 x 71.5 cm | 22.4 x 28.1 in
Archangel Michael is depicted as the horseman of the Last Judgment, as described in the book of Revelation by John (“the Apocalypse”). Memorial Day: November 8. In the margin left: a Guardian Angel, Saint Archbishop Nicholas of Myra and Saint Bishop Dorotheus of Tyre. Right: Saint Martyr Julitta with her son Quiricus, Saint Mary of Egypt and Saint Martyr Marina.
The Revelation of John drafts a Christian eschatology in relation to the Old Testament tradition, especially the Book of Daniel, in visionary images. The Last Judgment comes at the end of the millennial reign of the Messiah, which begins with his first return, the first Parousia. In a “first resurrection” (Rev 20.5) the martyrs come to power first. In this millennial kingdom Satan is imprisoned. It ends with the Second Coming, the release of Satan and his eternal damnation after the final victory over him and his armies in a final battle (Rev 20:7-10).
The fight between the warriors of good (angels) and the devil or Satan is already part of the Last Judgment, which ends with the second return of Christ as the judge over all the dead and the overcoming and destruction of death itself: “…and all were judged by what they had done.” (Rev 20.13) The Last Judgment is followed by the “new heaven” and the “new earth”, the “New Jerusalem” (Rev 21.1) as the final fulfillment of all promises of the Kingdom of God.
In the vision of the seer John (Rev 12.7), the archangel Michael defeats the devil in the form of a dragon and pushes him down to earth: “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
In this apocalyptic scene, the Archangel, as Archistrategos (leader of the heavenly hosts), rides a fiery horse and thrusts his lance at the devil dragon that is writhing on the ground. He blows the trumpet and holds censer and Gospels.
Top left: Christ Pantocrator blessing.
Above center: the Mother of God of the Sign (Znamenie), praying with Christ Immanuel hovering in front of her breast.
Around: four angels inscribed (clockwise): East, North, South, West.
Text top left next to the angel: “from the gospel came godliness in the universe” and “from the censer came a sweet fragrance in the universe.”
Text in the rainbow: “You appoint the winds to be your messengers, the fire to be your servants.”
Text next to the trumpet: “The trumpet awakens those who have slept from eternity.”
Inscription below: “In the boiling sea the enemy has no more weapons left and his city is destroyed: Their memory has disappeared in the noise for all eternity.” and
“Icon of the icon painter W.P. Suslov in (Moscow?) city finished on June 8.”
The Suslov family were well-known icon writers in Palekh and Moscow.
Saint Nicholas of Myra (December 6, May 9 and July 29): Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, considered one of the most important and well-known saints of the Eastern and Latin Churches. Among other things, he is considered the patron saint of children, women giving birth, the elderly, travellers, sailors, judges, lawyers, notaries, pharmacists, innkeepers, for happy marriages.
Saint Dorotheus of Tire (June 5 and October 9): Dorotheus was bishop of Tire in Phenicia (now Sur in Lebanon). During the persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian and Galerius, he was persecuted for his faith and exiled, but was able to return after the end of the persecution and take part in the 1st Council in Nicaea in 325. Under Emperor Julian Apostata he had to flee again and went to Odyssopolis in Thrace, where he was captured and died after many beatings at the age of 107.
Saint Martyr Julitta and her son Quiricus (July 15): They were martyred during the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Diocletian around 304. They are considered patron saints for families and for sick children.
Saint Mary of Egypt (April 1 and Fifth Sunday of Lent): She was an early church hermit. Only legends have been handed down about her life. She is considered the patroness of penitents and repentant sinners.
Saint Martyr Marina or Margaret of Antioch (July 17): She was a Consecrated Virgin and Martyr at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries.