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Icon - The Transfiguration

The Transfiguration

  • Object:

    Icon

  • Place of origin:

    Greece (painted)

  • Date:

    About 1704 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Anagnostou, Angelos (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tempera on panel

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Major R. G. Gayer Anderson

  • Museum number:

    W.13-1942

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case SF, shelf 10

Physical description

Religious icon painting

Place of Origin

Greece (painted)

Date

About 1704 (made)

Artist/maker

Anagnostou, Angelos (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Tempera on panel

Dimensions

Height: 18.25 in approx., Width: 13.125 in approx.

Object history note

Given by Major R. G. Gayer Anderson, 1942

This icon is one of six panels donated to the V&A by Major R G Gayer Anderson in 1942 (W.11-1942, W.12-1942, W.13-1942, W.14-1942, W.15-1942, W.16-1942), and one of a set of four icons attributed to the same artist, Angelos Anagnostou, about whom no information survives. Major Gayer-Anderson was a keen Orientalist who had lived in Cairo for many years until ill health forced him back to his house in Suffolk in 1942, the same year as this donation. His vast collection of antiquities and furnishings was divided primarily between the Major Gayer-Anderson Museum in Cairo (composed of his seventeenth-century house and all of its furnishings), and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, which became the beneficiary of his collection of Egyptian antiquities.

Historical significance: The Transfiguration is one of the great feasts of the orthodox liturgical calendar, and this icon is probably from the festival tier of an iconostasis. The icon is divided into two horizontal bands of figures. In the top register, Christ is shown in an orange and red mandorla with enhanced gilded decoration. He is surrounded by the Prophets Moses and Elijah. In the lower register, the Apostles Peter, John and James are shown in awe of the sight falling onto the ground. The figures are all identified with red inscriptions. The rocky surroundings are meant to represent the environs of Mount Tabor, where the Transfiguration is said to have taken place. The style of the figures is an attempt to copy earlier Byzantine modes of representation, but the date of 1704 has been established due to an inscription on the icon depicting the birth of the Virgin.

Descriptive line

Icon, 'The Transfiguration', Angelos Anagnostou, about 1704

Production Note

See W.11-1942, signed by Anagnostou and dated 1704.

Materials

Tempera; Panel

Techniques

Painting

Categories

Paintings; Christianity

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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