Jesus Christ, the Compassionate; Jesus Christ, the Merciful
wood; stain; paint; gold; metal
Greek; English; French
H: 5.5 in. x W: 4.3 in. x D: 0.9 in.
H: 14.0 cm. x W: 11.0 cm. x D: 2.2 cm.
Copyright 2011 College of Saint Benedict. All rights reserved.
Artifacts; Original Drawings, Paintings, Icons, Calligraphy;
There is a small scratch on the lower right of the wood frame, exposing the natural wood beneath the stain. This object was both dry and damp cleaned according to directions from a conservation expert when it was received at Clemens Library.
This original work is a silver-framed painting depicting the half-length figure of Jesus Christ. It is set into a rectangular, flat, solid wood panel. Greek inscriptions identify the figure as Jesus Christ (IC XC) “the Compassionate” (or “the Merciful). The gold leaf halo is inscribed with Greek letters that refer to Exodus 3:14 (God’s self-disclosure to Moses as “the One Who Is”), identifying Christ as God.
The figure is clothed in a red chiton (inner garment) and deep blue himation (outer garment) with a gold (oddly placed) clavus (shoulder band).
Christ gazes into a middle distance. With his left hand, he supports a large, closed, jeweled Gospel book; his right hand is (vaguely) raised and painted with an indistinct gesture. The fingers do not follow any of the conventional positions that bespeak blessing.
The silver frame around the painting is arched; it is embossed with grapes, vines and cross-like flowers. At the center bottom of the frame, it is stamped “950,” signifying that it is sterling silver. The framed painting is set in a wood frame that is stained dark brown.
There is a metal hanger nailed to the back.
On the back of the panel is a certificate of authenticity printed in English and French that reads: “Certificate. This work is an original contemporary Greek icon painted by the traditional technique on old wood, with an overcoat of silver 999°, and gold plated halos of silver. The export of this icon from Greece is allowed.”