Russian icon The Ascension of the Lord, XIX century
Dimensions: 31 x 26.5 cm
The Ascension of the Lord, remembered on the fortieth day after Easter, is one of the most ancient Christian holidays apparently established already in the IV century. The source of the iconography of the Ascension of the Lord are the texts of the Gospel and the Acts of the Holy Apostles. The icon of the Ascension of the Lord is a single composition with two centers – the Lord Jesus Christ and the Mother of God. In the upper (Heavenly) part of the icon – the Savior surrounded by angels hold a scroll in his left hand, a symbol of teaching, and with his right hand blesses the apostles, and through them, all their successors and all those whom they bless. The presence of angels supporting the halo is an expression of the glory and greatness of the Savior. The blessing gesture connects the upper and lower (Earthly) plan of the icon, thus symbolizing the unity of the Spirit and the Body of the Church. The second composition center of the icon is the image of the most Holy Virgin. The Evangelists do not describe her presence at the time of the Ascension of her Son. However, it is her image that testifies of the Christ, born in the flesh, born of the Virgin. The special position of the Mother of God is emphasized by the platform on which She stands among the two groups of apostles. The whole group with the Mother of God in the center represents the Savior’s treasure – the Church (body) which he left to them on earth.