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Great Deesis with Prophets
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Great Deesis with Prophets


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description These panels reproduce the upper two tiers of the screen (known as the iconostasis) that separates the nave from the altar in Orthodox churches. Such sets, of which this is one of the earliest known, were used by priests for makeshift altars and by lay people for personal prayer. In the upper row, the Virgin and Child are surrounded by Old Testament prophets who hold scrolls with passages foretelling Christ's birth: Habakkuk (?), Micah, Jeremiah, Moses, Daniel, David, Solomon, Jonah, Jacob, Isaiah (?), Gedeon, and Zechariah. Below, the adult Christ is seated on the throne of judgment, flanked by holy persons who entreat him to forgive our sins. On his right are the Virgin, St. Peter, Metropolitan Peter of Moscow, St. Sergius of Radonezh (a famous Russian hermit), and St. George. On his left stand John the Baptist, St. Paul, Metropolitan Alexis of Moscow, St. Cyril of Belozersk (another renowned Russian monk), and St. Demetrius.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
9/23/1959Treatmentother; repaired
9/23/1959Treatmentinpainted; other; repaired
2/27/1964Treatmentother
1/01/1975Examinationexamined for condition
9/16/1975Treatmentstabilized; loss compensation
8/24/1984Treatmentcleaned; examined for condition; inpainted; other
9/01/2000Treatmentcleaned; other
8/16/2006Examinationexamined for condition
Exhibitions
  • Russian Art: Icons and Decorative Arts from the Origin to the Twentieth Century. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1959-1960.
  • A Millennium of Christianity: Russian Art from The Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1988-1989.
  • Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2001-2002.
  • Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2002-2005.
  • Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Museum of Biblical Art, New York; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. 2008-2009.
Provenance Alexandre Polovtsoff (Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Polovtsov), Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, July 10, 1930, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Inscription] St. Peter: Смирите(ся) убо под крепкую руку б(о)жieю, да вознесет вы во время. Вс(ю) ЛК. St. John the Baptist: Се агнецъ б(о)жiи вземляи грехи. Habakkuk: Аз гл(аго)лю …. избавляи Израи(ля). Micah: (И) ты Вифлееме земля иудов(а). Jeremiah: Аз путь тя вид(ех) в силa(х) ωтроковице. Moses: Аз купину яко предрекох. Daniel: Гора ωт нея ж(е) уброче (?) камен без ру(к). David: Слыши дщи и виждь. Solomon: Премудрость созда себе. Jonah: Ты сим ωбразомъ тридневное. Jacob: Видех лестввицу (sic) оутве(р)жд(ену) до [небеси]. Isaiah: А г(оспод)ни пророкъ отъ... Gedeon: Азъ руно проразумех благ(ословенное). Zechariah: Радуися дщи Iеру(салимля). [Translation] St. Peter: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, [casting] all [your care upon Him] (I Peter 5:6). St. John the Baptist: Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins (John 1:29). Habakkuk: I speak: …. delivering Israel. Micah: But thou, Bethlehem, land of Judah (cf. Micah 5:2). Jeremiah: I saw thee as a glorious way, maiden (cf. ??remiah 42:3). Moses: I prophesied you as a [burning] bush (cf. Exodus 3:2). Daniel: The mountain from which a stone was cut out without hands (Daniel 2:34). David: Hearken, daughter, and see (Psalm 45:10). Solomon: Wisdom has build her [house] (Proverbs 9:1). Jonah: You were prefigured by [my] three-day [stay in the belly of the fish] (cf. Jonah 1:17). Jacob: I saw a ladder set up to heaven (cf. Genesis 28:12). Isaiah: [???]. Gedeon: I foretold you through a blessed fleece (cf. Judges 6:37). Zechariah: Rejoice, O daughter of Jerusalem (cf. Zechariah 9:9).
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1930

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Creator
Period
16th century (Early Modern)
Medium
tempera on panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
37.625
Measurements
In Frame H: 13 1/4 × W: 32 × D: 1 1/4 in. (33.7 × 81.3 × 3.2 cm); Small Side Panels W: 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm); Central Panel W: 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm)
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