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Icon - The Entry into Jerusalem

The Entry into Jerusalem

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Greece (painted)

  • Date:

    1704 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Anagnostou, Angelos (painter)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tempera on panel

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Major R. G. Gayer Anderson

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case SF, shelf 8

Physical description

Religious icon painting

Place of Origin

Greece (painted)


1704 (painted)


Anagnostou, Angelos (painter)

Materials and Techniques

Tempera on panel

Marks and inscriptions

'AA 1704'
Inscribed by the artist, lower right, in black. A shorter version of the inscription on W.11-1942


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: In this scene, Christ sits astride his donkey and again divides the composition into two. On the left, following him, the apostles are shown. To the right of the figure of Christ, the priests and people of Jerusalem emerge from the gate of the city to greet him. In the foreground, children kneel and spread robes on the ground before him. Other children cut palm fronds from the tree in the distance which can be seen on the ground below Christ and falling from the tree. This feast day is celebrated on the Sunday before Easter. There is a small signature in black below the red robe held by one of the children which records the name of Angelos Anagnostou. This signature differs from the one on the panel depicting the birth of the Virgin, and so has been the cause of some debate regarding the authenticity of the icons and their supposed painter.

Descriptive line

Icon, 'The Entry into Jerusalem', Angelos Anagnostou, 1704

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Lucia Burgio (1-2), Robin J.H. Clark (2) and Krini Theodoraki (3),"Ramen microscopy of Greek icons: identification of unusual pigments", in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, Volume 59, Issue 10, August 2003, Pages 2371-2389. Georaman 2002, Fifth International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy Applied to the Earth Sciences. (Article available online)

1. Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL, UK.
2. Christopher Ingold Laboratories, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ, UK.
3. Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, UK.

Abstract Five Greek icons, made between the 15th and the 18th centuries and now belonging to the Victoria and Albert Museum collections, were analysed by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), optical microscopy and Raman microscopy in order to determine the stratigraphy of the artworks and the identity of the pigments used. Together with common pigments, such as red lake, vermilion, red lead, red iron oxide, orpiment, yellow ochre, lead white, chalk, gypsum, anhydrite, Prussian blue, indigo and a copper-containing green, a few unusual materials were identified, specifically pararealgar (a yellow arsenic sulfide, As4S4), its precursor the c-phase, and lead tin yellow type II (PbSn1-xSixO3). Attention is drawn to the complementarity of the techniques used for the pigment identifications. Article Outline 1. Introduction
2. Experimental
2.1. Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence
2.2. Optical microscopy
2.3. Raman microscopy
3. The icons
3.1. The Ascension (W.15-1940)
3.2. The Annunciation (W.12-1942) and the Entry into Jerusalem (W.14-1942)
3.3. The Presentation to the Temple (W.4-1927) and the Entry into Jerusalem (W. 5-1927)
4. Results
4.1. Grounds
4.2. Paint layers
4.3. The Ascension (W.15-1940)
4.4. The Annunciation (W.12-1942)
4.5. The Entry into Jerusalem (W.14-1942)
4.6. The Presentation to the Temple (W.4-1927)
4.7. The Entry into Jerusalem (W.5-1927)
5. Discussion
6. Conclusion


Tempera; Panel




Paintings; Christianity


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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