set against an elaborate architectural background representing the city of Jerusalem, Christ depicted on the cross in the upper centre, the Virgin, St John the Evangelist and the other Marys standing below in grief, the Good Thief on the left hanging on a cross, an angel bearing his soul, the Bad Thief on another cross, fiercely attacked by a devil and beaten by a man; a group of naked people rising from their graves in the background on the left, a group of women in lamentation on the right, with the skull of Adam below the cross, soldiers playing dice for Christ's robes and prophets with open text scrolls clustered in the foreground.
This rare and interesting icon has been painted in bright colours by a skilled master. The multi-figured composition refers back to the famous icon from the late 15th century by Andreas Pavias, now in the National Gallery of Athens. The unusual representation of the crosses and the Bad and Good Thieves, is inspired by late 16th century engravings of the Flemish artist De Sadeler. Other examples are known, especially from the Ionian Islands (see for example the 17th century Crucifixion icon in Musée Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels). A close connection can also be felt between the present icon and two Crucifixion icons executed by the hand of the painter Lampardos, dating from the first half of the 17th century, one from the Likhachev Collection, now in the Hermitage, St Petersburg, and the other, dated 1635, in the Byzantine Museum, Athens. A third icon with very similar iconography, dating from the first half of the 17th century, is in the collection of the National Museum, Stockholm. The specific style of the present Crucifixion icon points to a slightly later dating, towards the middle or the second half of the 17th century.
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