0308 John ;The Angel of the Desert and and Scenes; Russian; 31x26
x2.5;     £ 750

0308 John the Baptist Scenes


Late 18th cent. 31x26x2.5 cms.

St John the Baptist because of his mission  to warn of the Saviour’s imminency, was known as ” The Forerunner”.   because he spelt so much time in the wilderness, he was also known as “The Angel of the Desert. Here he is shown as an angel; as a messenger with written scroll confirming rent that the Messiah’s appearance is soon approaching and repentance urgent. As emphasis he points to a discas that carries a child who will be sacrificed as a sign of God’s forgiveness.

The icon also shows four scenes of the saint’s life. His birth [bottom right] being taken to the mountains by The Angel Gabriel to show him the scope of his destiny [top right], his torture and de-capitation by Herod and Herod’s gift of it to Salome [bottom right]; the finding of his buried head in 452 [The second finding according to some] [top right].

The icon has two grooves in the board’s reverse but it is thought these are a later addition. A more secure guide to the icon’s age are the presence of a shallow kovcheg and that the figures wear boots, a feature of 18th iconography.