Date Early 6th century CE
Medium Encaustic on panel
Dimensions 34 x 18″
Provenance Monastery of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai, Egypt
Given their controversial nature, many icons were destroyed over the years. Their rise in production was a result in the rise of a number of accounts of divinities appearing, supposedly granting artists permission to create depictions of themselves; icons were thought to have contained the divinities themselves, and became mediators of sorts to God himself; they were made for either public or private use, and were often placed atop a city’s gates for the community’s protection. Here, Christ appears vividly in encaustic form against a gold nimbus and an architectural background.