Icon: Ascension of Elijah

Number: 202 Period: 19th century
Name: Icon: Ascension of Elijah Size: 30,3 x 26 cm
Origin: Russia Price: sold

The prophet Elijah was very popular with farmers. He was seen by the people as the successor to the Old-Slavic-god of thunder, Perun. Farmers were very dependent on the weather, so it is understandable that the saint who was felt to control atmospheric forces was much loved.

In this icon, the life of Elijah is depicted according to the text from the First Book of Kings. Around the central scene of  the prophet Elijah hiding in a cave where he is being fed by ravens are other events of his life. He is shown sleeping, being awaken by an angel, crossing the Jordan River by using his cloak, and riding in a fiery chariot, while his disciple Elisha catches his master’s cloak and bends down to the Jordan River. Everything seems to happen at the same time. By ‘abolishing time’ in this manner, icons can incorporate a great deal of narrative within a single image, just as a poem or hymn might achieve.

On the side borders are the Saints Gregory the Great and Eudokia. They are probably the family saints of the commissioner.

The icon is high-quality painting from an Old Believer’s workshop, probably Palekh.




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