Saturday, October 14, 2006

Archangel Michael with the Scales of Justice

Here you see a theme which is rather unusual. It was painted on request for a friend and is an own composition according to a modern glass-window in a church. The icon shows archangel Michael with the scales of justice weighting the souls. The soul is weighted after death according to his/her deeds against justice (the golden bowl) - but the man sitting in the bowl is found too heavy. According to justice he would have to to suffer for his bad deads. So he is praying. Michael has merci and is pointing to the pointer of the scales and will move it, so that finally all will be well for the soul, though he has not deserved it. Merci succeeds.

On the right edge above is the hand of God pointing to the whole scene in a guesture of blessing. Michael has big wings of protection. He also protects the small church at the bottom, which is related to the friend, who will receive this icon. The churning sea on the other side means danger, but also the coast of Ireland, where the friend is originally at home. Michael is again protecting.

If you look at the icon as a whole you will discover that there is a direction from the right edge on top to the left edge at the bottom: from the hand of God to the finger of Michael, from there to the church at his feet.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006


The Pantokrator (Jesus as the Lord / Master) is the most famous type of Christ-icons. The hand with the teaching-guesture bears two symbols: the three fingers, which are put together, sybolize the Trinity, the two raised fingers the 2 natures of Jesus (human and divine).

The original of this icon is from the 13th century.

See also:

Our Lady of Kazan

You see here "Our Lady of Kazan" - a painting after one of the most famous Russian Icons. The first original from the 16th century may have been lost. The painter is unknown. It is surely one of the most painted versions of Theotokos-Icons (Icons of Mother Mary). Imagine, there are altogether more than 700 versions and variations of icons of Mother Mary in Orthodox Christianity. Our Lady of Kazan was seen as Mother of the nation (Russia) and protector.

The child Jesus is here majestically in the guesture of teaching, while Mother Mary looks at you.

To read more on this icon please see: