The Christ Pantocrator from St. Catherine's Monastery

Sinai Peninsula, Egypt


One of the oldest surviving icons of the Byzantine period, the Christ Pantocrator (meaning "ruler of all") encaustic dates from the 6th century CE from the Sinai peninsula in Egypt. The monastery enjoyed imperial patronage from Justinian I, suggesting that this work was perhaps first produced in Constantinople and later transferred to the monastery. Perhaps only due to this transfer did the work survive the iconoclasm that was more prominent in Constantinople throughout the period. The work is often studied as a representation of the dual nature of Christ, both man and divine. Christ's features on the right represent his humanity while those on his left display his divinity. 

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