Russian icon of the Resurrection of Christ (Easter), XIX century
Dimensions: 31 x 26.5 cm
Easter or the Resurrection of Christ is the biggest holiday for Orthodox Christians, symbolizing the triumphant Divine love’s victory over death and its cause – a sin. The Resurrection of Christ itself is an incomprehensible mystery, therefore it cannot be depicted. However, icons and frescos depict events that confirm the dogma of eternal life. In the center of the icon is the image of the Savior, who tramples the open gates of hell. Until the miraculous Resurrection of Jesus, the heavenly gates were closed to all souls. Only when Christ descended into the underworld to raise the souls of the righteous and preachers from the graves, were believers able to receive eternal life. The Old Testament prophets and the righteous welcome the Savior, among whom one can recognize Kings David and Solomon, and Moses. To the right of the Savior is John the Baptist who preached in hell about the coming of the Savior. The contiguous hands of Christ and Abraham symbolize the unity of the Old and New Testaments. In the right corner of the icon there is a scene of a miraculous uprising of Jesus Christ from the tomb. In the lower left corner of the icon on the background of the dungeon, an Angel hits Satan.