Here is a Russian icon of the Crucifixion, as the title at the top, РАСПЯТIЕ ГОСПОДНЕ — RASPYATIE GOSPODNE — “CRUCIFIXION OF THE LORD” tells us. But as you can see, it is not only of the Crucifixion. There are many secondary scenes included.
(Courtesy of Jacksonsauction.com)
The main image, of course, is the Crucifixion:
At the very top is the “Not Made by Hands” image of Jesus, which indicates this is likely a “Priestless” Old Believer image. Below it is the cross, bearing several of the usual inscriptions — IC XC for Jesus Christ, “King of Glory,” “Son of God,” “We Honor (lit. bow before) Your Cross, Lord, and Praise Your Holy Resurrection,” and NIKA — “[He] Conquers.” Soldiers at left and right raise the spear and the sponge atop a reed.
We see the sun and moon. Below the sun is the inscription СОЛНЦЕ ПОМЕРЧЕ — SOLNTSE POMERCHE — “The Sun Darkens….” And below the moon is ЛУНА В КРОВЬ ПРЕЛОЖИСЯ = LUNA V KROV PRELOZHISYA “The moon becomes as blood.”
At the left of the cross is the “Eden” story, showing the creation of Adam and Eve, their eating of the forbidden fruit, and being cast out of the garden:
At upper right is Noah, with the dove returning after the “worldwide” flood:
At left is the Tower of Babel — a scene not often found in Russian icons:
At right again is the sea monster vomiting up Jonah:
Then we can look to the left for the scene of Joseph having been cast into the pit by his brothers (Genesis 37:23-24). He is called ИОСИФЪ ПРЕКРАСНЫЙ — Iosif Prekrasnuiy — “Joseph the Beautiful.”
Also on the left side, we find the birth and circumcision of Jesus:
Next — at left — we find the “Meeting in the Temple,” the reception of Jesus by the aged Simeon and the Prophetess Anna:
At right we see the baptism of Jesus by John:
Beside it is the temptation of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness:
Above that we see the Transfiguration of Jesus, and the healing of the infirm man at the Pool of Bethesda:
At lower right is the “Mystic Supper” — the “Last Supper.”
Moving back up to the right side of the Crucifixion, we see the removal of Jesus from the cross, and the placing in the tomb:
At the base of the Crucifixion we see the skull of Adam. According to tradition, he was buried in the same place where Jesus was later crucified, and the blood ran down upon the bones. Tradition also says that King Solomon once found the skull exposed, and out of respect for the Forefather Adam, had it covered up with stones, as seen here. To the left of that scene is the “Western-style” Resurrection image that came into Russian iconography late, and running along the bottom and up the right side is the “Descent into Hades,” the traditional depiction of the Resurrection used in Eastern Orthodoxy. The lower right scene in this image is the resurrected Jesus meeting his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias:
Next we move all the way to the top of the left side for the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles…
And the final image — at bottom left — is the Dormition of Mary:
Because it essentially shows the basic images of the whole tale of the so-called “Plan of Salvation,” this icon could have truly been a “Bible of the poor,” as church images used to be regarded for the illiterate — except that an icon this detailed, and with so many scenes and persons, would have been rather expensive to buy when it was new — so a poor person could not have afforded it.