The Greek artist, Manoli Philippakis, painted this icon for the Pitt Rivers Museum. The Museum’s photographer recorded the artist’s progress in a series of photographs now held in the Museum archives. This icon is modern, but it stands within a tradition stretching back hundreds of years. The earliest known icons, painted on wooden boards, like this one, date from the sixth century. Philippakis has chosen a traditional style to portray Jesus ‘Christ Pantocrator’, meaning Almighty Christ. In this composition, Christ holds a copy of the New Testament in his left hand and his right hand is raised in blessing. The colours have symbolic meanings: red for the divine life, blue for the human life. Christ is shown in a red garment with a blue garment over it to show that he is God who became human.
Where to see this painting?
The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection