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Record Image
The Entry into Jerusalem
Circa 1600
tempera and gold on gesso on pinewood panel
486 x 392 mm panel size
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Purchased 1987 with funds from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society.
In the Russian Orthodox Church the congregation is separated from the sanctuary by a wall of icons arranged in a particular order. The Entry into Jerusalem belongs to the third layer, The Twelve Feasts of the Church. The icon, marking Palm Sunday and the start of the Passion, depicts Christ, riding side-saddle on a colt, approaching Jerusalem. A crowd of Jewish priests, dressed like Russian bishops, pour from the gates of the city to greet him. Beyond the gates are the city buildings and the great temple which, to our Western eyes, appear to be atop the gates. A figure lays a garment in homage before the mounted Christ. Another observes the entry from the branches of a tree. Christ turns to bless, with his right hand, the huddled group of disciples following him. He favours them with his gaze, while turning away from the priests he will shortly castigate and who, in turn, will help to bring about his crucifixion. The whole narrative is set in a symbolic Middle Eastern landscape, the sky and desert coloured yellow-gold to mark this as a sacred space. The placement of the elements in The Entry was firmly established by the late 14th century, but the style of the work places it somewhere in the 16th century.

not on view

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