THE HAND OF ANGELUS

An interesting icon believed to be by Angelos Akotantos is coming up for auction on January 26th, 2019, in North Carolina (U.S.A.):

(Photo courtesy of Brunk auctions: http://www.brunkauctions.com)

You may recall Angelos Akotantos (Άγγελος Ακοτάντος) from an earlier posting on this site:
https://russianicons.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/mind-your-manners-the-cretan-school-of-icon-painting/

He was a noted iconographer of the Cretan School of icon painting, and was active about 1425-1450.

Venetian merchants carried on a thriving trade with Crete at that time, and ordered large numbers of icons, whether painted in the maniera greca (“Greek” manner) or the maniera latina (“Latin” or Italian manner).

This icon — depicting the Anastasis, the “Resurrection” of Jesus as his descent to Hades — shows Jesus standing in a mandorla (almond-shaped, full-length halo) of light.  He reaches out to grasp the hand of Adam, the first man.  Behind Adam stands his wife Eve, as well as other figures.

(Photo: Brunk Auctions)

To the left of Jesus we see John the Forerunner (the Baptist), as well as Kings David and Solomon and others.

(Photo: Brunk Auctions)

Two angels hover above, their hands covered with cloths as a sign of reverence.

In the open cavern at the base are two open sarcophagi, and in the center are the broken gates of Hades.

Usually, icons by Angelos Akotantos are signed in Greek ΧΕΙΡ ΑΓΓΕΛΟΥ/Kheir Angelou — “Hand of Angelos,” but this one was obviously intended for a Western — most likely Venetian — customer.  It is signed in Latin rather than Greek:

(Photo: Brunk Auctions)

The signature is:  Angelus pinxit — “Angelus painted [it]” — Angelus being the Latin form of the Greek Angelos.

You may recall that though some earlier icons were signed, it was the Cretan School that really popularized the signing of icons.

The icon is offered through Brunk Auctions in Asheville.

 

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