7 x 5 in    18 x 13 cm
Miniature Mosaic Set in Wax on Wood Panel
Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC

John was a Bishop of Constantinople who got himself into a great deal of trouble when his fiery sermons (which earned him the name "Golden Mouthed") raised the anger of the Imperial Court.  He was eventually exiled from the city.

The ikon shows John dressed in church vestments.  He holds a book of his writings and raises his right hand in blessing.  John is shown with drawn cheeks and a high forehead.  The miniature mosaic is made up of gold, gilded copper, glass and semi-precious stone cubes.  These small ikons took an enormous length of time to create due to the density and miniscule size of the stones.

Due to the craftsmanship and sophistication of this ikon It is believed it is the creation of workshops attached to the Byzantine Imperial Court.  This ikon has been associated with Emperor John VI Kantekouzenos as a gift from him to the Vatopedi Monastery on Mr. Athos.

Photo Credit: Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC

< last: Ikon of the Annunciation next: Ikon of the Theotokos >


click on an ikon below to learn more about it