Resurrection Orthodox Icon

Resurrection of Christ

Resurrection of Christ icon painted

The message of victory over the deathly kingdom of the devil is a divine gift which was generously given to humanity. The victory over death, the victory of Eternal life! The message of Eternal Life in the celebration of the event of the Resurrection is the most stunning message of Orthodox Christianity.
This historic but simultaneously majestic spiritual event of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the all-honorable art of Byzantine Iconography depicts and guides to spiritual footpaths, with the all-honorable art of Byzantine Iconography with its icon of the “Descent into Hades”

Resurrection of Christ icon painted

The painting art guided by the dogma and faith of the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church gave the suitable form-structure for the documentation of a double event, historic and eschatological, immeasurable in magnitude and value. In an unsurpassable manner it renders the meaning o the Paschal shout: “Christ is Risen from death, by death trampling on death and to those in the tomb bestowing life.”

Resurrection of Christ icon painted

Already from the 9th century the Byzantine iconographic model in the Resurrection is rendered with the “Descent into Hades.” According to the “Interpretation of the Painters” it is described as follows: “Hills and mountains, and beneath them a dark cave and angels shining brightly bind with chains Beelzebub the ruler of darkness, and those demons with him they beat and chase
out. And many broken locks, and the gates of Hades thrown about with the chains, and Christ upon them stepping holds Adam with His right hand and Eve with His left. While the Forerunner at the right of Christ points to Him and David near him,  as well as other Kings with crowns and diadems. While the prophets Jonah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and the righteous Abel to the left and various other crowned ones. While
a great light surrounds them and a multitude of angels.”
In the center of the icon is Jesus. In an egg-shaped very bright glory with raysthe unsetting light of the future age-Christ shows, imposing and prevailing. His clothes are radiant and shining brightly. Sometimes they are illumined with a web of golden brush strokes and at other times all white they surround His transfigured Resurrected Body, they widely flowing flow in the wind around His head, stressing
the rushing movement. Christ in front stands upright, with a strong, intense, almost explosive movement. He pulls, drags holding Adam with the right hand and Eve with the left.

Resurrection of Christ icon painted

His immaculate feet step with power on the “crushed” doors of Hades, which thrown about lie the one over the other crosswise.
Beneath them is the all-dark cave, and in it a half-naked old man, with
disheveled hair and dark colored. Trembling, bound with his hands to his back with chains. Many times angels also appear binding the old man, who symbolizes the devil – death – in the wider meaning, because he is the cause of death, as Christ is Life and Resurrection.
In some icons we have two half-naked figures, the devil and death.
Here based on the passage of the apocryphal text Christ grabbed Satan by the head and handed him to the angels saying: “bind up his hands and his feet and his neck and his mouth”. Then Christ handed the devil to Hades – death saying: “take him keep him safely till my second coming”.
In the darkness of the cave are scattered, broken locks, keys, bolts, chains broken up chains and nails, as if they were slung by some supernatural power. Thus we have the depiction of the prophecies of Isaiah “I shall crush copper gates and break up iron bolts” as also David’s” “that he crushed copper gates and broke up iron bolts”

Resurrection of Christ icon painted

To the left and right of Christ are depicted two groups of people. “Thus Adam discussing with Satan the King of glory stretched out His right hand and held and lifted up the forefather Adam. Then turning to the rest He said: “come with me, all ye through the wood, which he touched, were killed. For again you through the wood of the Cross behold I raise up all” (Apocryphal Gospel of Nikodimos). They  are the just and the prophets from the ages Abel, Enoch, Solomon, Isaiah, David, Jeremiah et al.
Usually in front of the Kings and prophets is Saint John the Forerunner “pointing” to Christ. Saint John as he preached the Lord’s coming to the upper world, will do the same thing also to the lower world among those dwelling there, “so that he can preach the coming of the Savior to those in Hades also.”
During the feast of the beheading of his precious head is chanted: “the theologic tongue addresses those also in Hades being a pre-announcer of Christ” (stichera of the Ainoi).
Among the just is depicted Abel, the unjustly killed, the first martyr before the Lord’s coming. He is painted as a beardless youth, holding his shepherd’s staff. On the second level of the icon, behind the glory, are two rocks, as if they have been broken in two, after some violent explosion, with flat porches, inclining towards the center of the composition. The conventional shape of the two tall rocks which surround the abyss of Hades possibly correspond to a certain reality.
According to a witness of the Russian abbot Daniel in the beginning of the 12thc. after visiting the Holy lands, he mentions that near the wall of Jerusalem is a flat rocky hill, which was ripped during the Crucifixion and probably this was called Hades.

Resurrection of Christ icon painted

The color scale of the icon presents unusual richness. Many different shades in the garments, green, red, intensely blue are combined with pale and many times analogous to the age in which they are iconographed with rich golden motifs or with golden glittering fields.
The composition of the icon is deeply studied out and even in the slightest detail with an obvious aim the deeper meaning, the theological message.

Resurrection of Christ icon painted

Video Painting demonstration

Iconographer – Liviu Dumitrescu

Icon orders

  • Other iconographic representations can be made beside the ones presented on the website