The National Museum of Art of Romania
Icon - The Descent from the Cross
Artwork description
Tempera on wood
67,5 x 44,5 cm
1522 – 1523
Artwork location
Romanian Medieval Art Gallery, room 2

The icon representing The Descent from the Cross suggests a unique parallel in Romanian medieval art. Lady Despina, lamenting over her son Teodosie, is compared to the Virgin, lamenting over the body of Jesus. The Virgin is accompanied by young John, the Disciple, and Mary Magdalene. Both the theme and its depiction are highly unusual for Eastern Orthodox painting and iconography.

Lady Despina is set to the left of the image, in the middle ground, befittingly smaller than characters pertaining to sacred history. She wears black mourning habits and holds a child-like Teodosie, dressed up as reigning Prince, his attire complete with crown. An inscription contains her prayer, addressed to the Mother of God: ‘Our Lady, please hold the soul of your servant Ion Teodosie Voïevod and take it to your judgment, Lady Despina.”


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