World Treasures: Important Russian, European, Asian & American Works

June 16th, 2015

auction closed
Lot 8

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A LARGE AND IMPOSING GREEK ICON OF THE DIVINE EUCHARIST, 17TH CENTURY, SIGNED ANASTASIOUS.  Painted within an arched reserve supported by side columns and with angels (cherubs) looking on from above in each corner. Here the resurrected Christ is depicted half length behind a table (altar) with ornately embroidered covering. His right hand touches the Eucharistic loaf stamped with the word NIKA meaning, “He Conquers” and from his pierced side blood spurts emptying into a gilt chalice.  Beneath him a scroll is inscribed in Greek,  ΛΑΒΕΤΑΙ ΦΑΓΕΤΑΙ ΤΟΥΤΟ ΕCΤΙ ΤΟ CΟΜΑ ΜΟΥ ΠΙΕΤΑΙ ΕΞ ΑΥΤΟΥ ΠΑΝΤΕC TOYTO ECTI TO AIMA MOY - "Take and eat; this is my body; Drink from it all of you; this is my blood."  (Matthew 26: 26-28). The partially abbreviated shoulder height inscription identifies the subject as, He Theia Eukharistia = "THE DIVINE EUCHARIST". At lower right a partial signature, "Deisis tou doulou tou theou hiereos Anastasious ..." – The prayer of the servant of God Priest Anastasious. In an excellent state of preservation. 44.5 x 30.5 inches (113cm x 77.5 cm)

Estimate:  $10,000 - 15,000   € 9,000 - 13,500

When one thinks of Greek Eucharistic icons, one commonly thinks first of the standard type called Ο ΜΥΣΤΙΚΟΣ ΔΕΙΠΝΟΣ, Ho Mystikos Deipnos, — “The Mystic Supper.” It represents the institution of the Eucharist, or what is commonly referred to as “The Lord’s Supper.” There are, however, other Greek Eucharistic types. There is the elaborate ΘΕΙΑ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑ (Theia Leitourgia), “Divine Liturgy,” which shows the liturgy being celebrated in heaven by Christ robed as a bishop. And then there is also the similar Η ΘΕΙΑ ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑ (He Theia Koinonia) “Holy Communion” type, which we generally call “The Communion of the Apostles.” It too depicts Christ standing at an altar, giving communion to the apostles, who approach from left and right. Again Christ is shown twice, at left in the so-called metalepsis of the wine, and at right in the so-called metadosis of the bread. This represents Christ giving the communion in and to the Church on earth. However, in the offered lot we have an example of a less common Greek Eucharistic type no doubt with imagery borrowed from a Western prototype, and further still an example which exhibits a great deal of artistic skill particularly in the layering and shadowing.

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