|St John the Divine in Silence
Egg tempera on gesso, linen, wood
158.5 x 60.5 cm
Workshop of the Kirillo-Byelozersk Monastery, Archangel
This work by an icon painter from the Kirillo-Byelozyorsk Monastery in Archangel (Arkhangelsk) depicts the apostle touching his lips with his right hand, as a sign that he is keeping silence, while with his left hand he points to the text of the Gospel According to St John. The size of the figure is exaggerated in comparison with the small angel behind the saint's shoulder. The hovering angelic form with a seven-pointed halo is an embodiment of the Holy Spirit, and symbolizes wisdom. The frame of the icon is decorated in imitation of rich silver, inlaid with niello work. On the reverse of the icon, details of the endowment are recorded: the name of the painter, the time and place where the icon was painted and the purpose for which the endowment was made.