THE TRINITY “FATHERHOOD” DEISIS

From past posting here, you are already familiar with the standard Deisis icon type depicting Jesus enthroned in the center, with Mary approaching him on the left and John the Forerunner on the right — showing the heavenly court.  And of course there is the variant in which Mary is robed like a Queen, commonly called Predsta Tsaritsa odesnuyu Tebe  — The “Queen Stands at your Right,” after Psalm 45:9 (44:10 in the Slavic Bible)  There is also the extended Deisis, which adds more saints to the basic form.  And you will perhaps recall  the “Savior with Bystanders” Deisis that is sometimes called “The Week,” (though it is not the usual type by that name).

There is also the “Trinity” Deisis.  In this variant, the central figure of Jesus is replaced by the “New Testament Trinity” image — Jesus seated at left, God the Father as an old man at right, and the Holy Spirit as a dove between them.

Here, however, is an example of a less common Trinity variant in which the “New Testament Trinity” is replaced by the  Otechestvo — the “Fatherhood” (or “Paternity”) image — showing God the Father (Lord Sabaoth) as an old man seated on a throne, with Christ Immanuel (Jesus in child or youth form) seated on his lap, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove before the Father’s chest.

(Courtesy of The Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton MA)

 

God the Father holds the orb of authority, and has the eight-pointed slava (“glory”) as his halo, signifying the Eighth Day — the Day of Eternity.  We see Mary in royal robes at left, and John the Forerunner (the Baptist) also crowned, standing at right.  Beside Mary is the Archangel Michael, and the Archangel Gabriel stands by John.  The two little monks at the foot of the throne are commonly the founders of the Solovetsky Monastery on the White Sea in northern Russia, Zosim (Zosima) at left, and Savvatiy (Sabbatius) at right.  You may recall that they are also the patrons of beekeeping.

Let’s take a look at the title inscription (slightly enhanced):

 

Words are abbreviated, but with missing letters added, it reads (in modern font):

ОБРАЗ ПРЕСВЯАТЫЯ ТРОИЦА ОЦА И СЫНА И СВЯТАГО ДУХА
OBRAZ PRESVYATUIYA TROITSA OTSA I SUINA I SVYATAGO DUKHA
“[The] Image of the Most Holy Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

If you add this knowledge to what you have learned from previous “Deisis” postings on this site, you should now have a very good grasp of the basic type and its variations.