An antique Russian Icon of the Nativity of Christ. Painted on wood. Size: 40x25cm. Iconography: The icon has much symbolism. The helpless figure in swaddling clothes represents the complete submission of Christ to the physical conditions governing the human race. The earth provides Him with a cave. The animals watch Him in silent wonder and humanity offer him one of its own, the Virgin Mother. The manger is like a casket and His swaddling clothes are very much like the grave clothes. The sky salutes Him with a star, the light of wisdom. This is a sign that Christ came for everyone. The tree Rays represent the Holy Trinity. The Magi and the shepherds bring their gifts, also a sign that Christ came for everyone. The women on the bottom right are midwives. This indicates that Jesus was born in the normal way and would have needed washing, as a regular human baby would. The Righteous Joseph is depicted away from Jesus and the Theotokos, off to the bottom left. This is because he was not involved in the miracle of the Incarnation of the Son of God, but he was the protector of Mary and Jesus. The old man speaking to him represents the devil bringing new doubts to Joseph. The devil suggests that if the infant were truly divine He would not have been born in the human way. In the person of Joseph, the icon discloses not only his personal drama, but the drama of all mankind, the difficulty of accepting that which is beyond reason, the Incarnation of God.
Antique Religious Items