The Resurrection and Descent into Hell

Palekh School
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reference number: RI_163


tempera on wooden panel

55.5 x 48.5 cm

inscribed in Cyrillic on reverse and date ‘1893’


A large icon showing the Resurrection of Christ and His Descent into Hell, or Anastasis, finely painted in minute detail over a gold ground.


Christ appears twice in the icon, surrounded by a green radiating mandorla. In the first upper scene, Christ rises from the tomb and is flanked by various scenes from His life and passion. In the second scene below, Christ tramples on the broken doors of Hades and raises Adam. In the foreground, Eve is kneeling in supplication as she steps out of the open mouth of the monster that personifies Hell. The crowd behind represents the Just people of the Old Testament, who were also raised by Christ during the Anastasis. The scene is supplemented by the killing of the devil by an angel at the bottom left. The background is rendered as a stylised architectural setting and rocky landscape.

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