Icon of the Holy Trinity with Saints, by an anonymous Russian iconographer; the State Tretyakov Museum, Moscow, Russia; early 15th century
Boxwood Cross, with scenes from the Hebrew Scriptures, attributed to Georgios Laskaris; on display at the Metropolitan Musem of Art, New York, USA, on loan from the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Monastery, Brookline, Massachusetts; c.1550 - 1600
He has trampled down death by death; He has given life to those who sleep in the tombs
This fresco depicting “the life of the genuine monk” is especially found in older Orthodox monasteries. Although this fresco depicts “the steadfast monk – the Christ’ follower,” we should also affirm that it represents “the one true Christian” who regardless of his social status, is a follower of Christ through his actions.
The genuine monastic is he who dies for the world to take on a permanent battle with his passions and his thoughts until his last breath. Ordinary Christian, married or not, has the same duty, to die to the world and start the same battle towards passions until the end.
Since the path to Christ’ Kingdom is narrow and rough, it is clear that the Christian whether be a monk or a layman, faces similar difficulties. St. John Chrysostom referring to the great labor toward salvation of both monastics and laymen alike, said: “The only difference between a layman and a monk is that the first is married and the other is not.”
Ahhh so that’s what it means! When I first saw this fresco I assumed it was about a monk being martyred. What utterly profound symbolism!
Viktor Vasnetsov - Fatherhood (Detail); State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia; 1907
I’ve posted this one a few times before, but I never tire of looking at it
“Volyn Icon XVII-XVIII Century”