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Culture:Russian, Iaroslavl' Region
Title:Icon with the Prophet Elijah
Date Made:End of 16th century
Materials:Tempera on panel
Measurements:Overall: 20 1/2 x 16 1/4 in.; 52.1 x 41.3 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.582
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
Elijah, one of the most important Old Testament prophets, defended the worship of Yahweh, God of Israel, against the worship of other deities. This icon was part of the prophet tier in an iconostasis—a wall, usually covered with icons, that separates the public part of an Orthodox Christian church from its sanctum. This icon depicts Elijah according to traditional Orthodox iconography: he wears a red sheepskin mantle, a green lower garment, and a white band of cloth that fastens the cape around his neck. He holds a scroll on which is written the response he gives to the Lord in 1 Kings 19:10: “I have been very jealous for the Lord God . . . ” (KJV). In the twentieth century, the original background was scraped down to the gesso to give the icon an ancient appearance. A restored inscription meaning “Holy Prophet Elijah” remains visible above the figure.

Written by Keith Wine ’12, Russian Art Intern 2011–2012

Christianity; figures; icons; men; Orthodox Eastern Church; religion; text

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