Belarusian School of Icon Painting

The Anastasis (Descent to Hell)
[Sashescie w piekla]

descent_to_hell.jpg (68058 bytes)

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Dated 1678

Author unknown

Wooden board, egg tempera
121 x 90 x 2.9 - 6.5 cm

The icon is currently in the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.

The icon was described by the 26-th and 33-rd expeditions of National Art Museum of Byelorussian SSR in 1974 and 1978. At the time it was located in Praabrazhenskaia Church (built in 1783) of the town of Chachersk.

Chachersk.jpg (11136 bytes)

The church was built by Count Charnyshou in ensemble with 3 other cathedrals (did not survived) in 1783. It is built in Classicism style. The interiors of the churches were decorated by paintings of italian fresca artists.

The icon was restored in BSSR National Art Museum by N.F. Vysockaia, U.S. Haranieka and A.S. Shpunt in Minsk in 1978.

   Christ is shown on oval golden background. He is wearing dark-red chiton and ochre cape. In his left hand he carries a banner. With his right hand he lifts Adam from hell. Adam is dressed in green, behind him stands Eve wearing red cloak. Christ is shown as floating over the crossed broken gates to Hell, decorated with broken chains and locks. He is surrounded by righteous rulers, kings and prophets in red, ochre and brown clothes. The ochre-pink mountains, dark valleys and golden ornament are shown in the backround. The fields of icon are blue with golden floral ornament, somewhat similar to Czech icons of the first half of XVII c.

References used in page:

"Ikanapis Belarusi XV-XVIII stahoddziau"("Icon Painting of Belarus in XV-XVIII centuries"), Minsk - 1994, publishing house "Belarus",Ed.: N.F. Vysockaia.
ISBN 5-338-01183-2

"Arhitektura Belarusi. Encyklapedychny davednik" ("Architecture of Belarus. Short Encycopedia") Ed.: A.A. Voinau and others, Minsk - 1993, Publishing house "Belaruskaia Encyklapedyia, named after Piatrus' Brouka".
ISBN 5-85700-078-5.

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