- Museum number
- Object: The New Testament Trinity (‘Otechestvo’)
Icon; painted; Jesus Christ (left), God the Father (right), and the Holy Ghost (above) are depicted enthroned in clouds.
Oil colours, gesso on wood.
- Production date
Length: 283 millimetres
Weight: 0.50 kilograms
Width: 210 millimetres
Depth: 25 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This iconographic version of the Holy Trinity was called in Orthodox art the ‘New Testament Trinity’ or ‘Otechestvo’ in Russian to distinguish it from the ‘Old Testament Trinity’ (Hospitality of Abraham) in which three angels sit at the table under the oak of Mamre (Gen. 18:1–22). Depictions of the New Testament Trinity are known from Byzantine manuscripts dating from the 11th century. Its symbolism is based on the words of St John the Evangelist: ‘I and my Father are one’ (10:30); ‘The Father is in me, and I in him’(10:38); ‘And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me’ (12:45). In the Orthodox tradition it was forbidden to depict God the Father so his image was rendered as Christ in old age. This version first appears in the late 12th century. The traditional composition combines an image of God the Father as Christ in old age, dressed in a white cloth, and enthroned with the youthful Christ on his knees. Jesus holds in his hands a medallion with the Holy Ghost. The Museum’s icon is influenced by the Western iconographic tradition in which God the Father and Jesus Christ are both enthroned next to each other, with the Holy Ghost above them. This type, influenced by Catholic art, appears in Russian icon painting in the 17th century and becomes common in the 19th century.
Cormack 2007, 137, no.100
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2015 15 Sep-10 Jan, USA, Norfolk, Chrysler Museum of Art, Byzantium to Russia: The origins and development of Russian icons 1200 to 1900.
2015 30 Apr- 22 Aug, USA, Clinton, Museum of Russian Icons, Byzantium to Russia: The origins and development of Russian Icons 1200 to 1900
- Made from a single panel, the back with beveled edges; there are only preparatory pencil drawings on the gesso, with the heads, hands and feet painted in oil colours; there are holes at the middle top and lower left, with a few smaller nail holes around the heads. The icon was designed to be covered by a revetment.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number