Church of the Resurrection, Interior, with Icon Screen, Matigory, Russia


This view of the icon screen of the Church of the Resurrection in the village of Verkhnie Matigory (Arkhangel'sk Oblast) was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. The Church of the Resurrection was built in 1686-94. Its five-tiered 18th-century icon screen (iconostasis) is one of the best preserved in the Russian north and contains a number of ancient icons. Although part of the second tier (Holy Festivals) is visible in this view, together with the upper arch of the Royal Gate, the emphasis here is on the upper three tiers, beginning with the Deesis (from the Greek word for “prayer”). This tier centers on an image of Christ enthroned as Pantokrator (Ruler of All), flanked by Mary (on the left), and John the Baptist (on the right), together with archangels Michael and Gabriel, the apostles Peter and Paul, as well as other church fathers. All figures assume a prayerful posture toward Christ. The next (fourth) tier, known as the Prophets' Row, includes Old Testament prophets, as well as kings David and Solomon. In the center is a regal image of the Mother of God of the Sign (Znamenie). The uppermost (fifth) tier, known as the Forefathers' Row (Praottsy), contains figures from the first books of the Bible (Adam, Eve, Abraham, Abel, Isaac, and others). At its center is the Old Testament Trinity, which portrays the visit of three angels to Sarah and Abraham (Genesis 18).

Last updated: January 11, 2016