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Russian Icon - The Fiery Ascension of Prophet Elijah

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Russian Icon - The Fiery Ascension of Prophet Elijah

he icon depicts prophet and mystic Elijah sitting in contemplation in a desert cave, shoulders wrapped in a fur cloak. He is surrounded by the vignettes with scenes of his life and his fiery ascent into Havens. Saint Elijah was a prophet in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of king Ahab (9th century BC). According to the Books of Kings (17-19), Elijah defended the worship of Yahweh over that of the Phoenician god Baal, he raised the dead, brought fire down from the sky, and was taken up in a whirlwind. In the Book of Malachi, Elijah's return is prophesied "before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord," making him a harbinger of the Messiah. This common depiction of the prophet Elijah riding a flaming chariot across the sky resulted in syncretistic folklore among the Slavs incorporating pre-Christian motifs in the beliefs and rites regarding him in Slavic culture. 

Additional Info

  • ID#: 271-027-046-SP2
  • Size: 15 1/3 x 13 inches (39 x 33 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1890s
  • Origin: Provincial Russia
  • Materials: Egg tempera on gessoed wood
  • Price: $975
  • Orthodox Cross
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