41 x 29 in    105 x 75 cm
Egg tempera on Wood Panel
12th century?
Holy Monastery of St. Catherine - Sinai

This large ikon may have come from the ikonstasis of the monastery church.  However since there are no other survivors in this style in Sinai, either the others were lost or it would be more likely this ikon was paired with a lost Christ and Archangel Michael that was hung somewhere in the church.

One unusual feature is that the adoring hand of Gabriel faces right, which means it would have been on the wrong side of Christ.  The Archangel Michael always is placed to the left of Christ.  Therefore it is more likely this ikon was always a stand alone image

The image has a dry, linear style which might place it in the mid to late 12th century.  It is possible that the ikon was painted in Constaninople and shipped to the monastery from the Imperial capital, but it is alo likely that it was painted at the Sinai by a local Greek artist.

The ikon has a silver-leaf background with glazing in a gold shellac, this produces a deep gold appearance.

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