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  • Two-part Icon: 'The Fiery Ascent of the Prophet Elijah'; 'St Demetrius of Thessalonica'

    Technique:
    tempera on panel and gilding
    Dimensions:
    79x75 cm

Two-part Icon: 'The Fiery Ascent of the Prophet Elijah'; 'St Demetrius of Thessalonica'

Russia, Mid-16th century

In the Bible, in the Second Book of Kings, we read how the Prophet Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire: "behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire... and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven". Elijah's pupil Elisha witnessed the event and took up the prophet's mantle which fell as he ascended. Beneath the scene of the ascent we see Elijah sleeping, for he learned his fate in a dream in which an angel appeared to him. The second composition shows one of the most revered of all Christian saints, St Demetrius of Thessalonica, depicted frontally and full length. The image departs from tradition only in that Demetrius holds both sword and shield in one hand. In icons from the Russian North, like this one, a single panel typically included several compositions which did not necessarily observe any particular unity of style in the different figures. In the combination of green tones with a pale yellow ground we can see the individual manner of this painter.

Title:

Two-part Icon: 'The Fiery Ascent of the Prophet Elijah'; 'St Demetrius of Thessalonica'

Place:

Technique:

tempera on panel and gilding

Dimensions:

79x75 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1957; handed over from the Lyadinsky village council, Kargopolsky District, Arkhangelsk Oblast

Inventory Number:

ЭРИ-245

Category: