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Leonard Brown

The Icon of the Saviour (Image Not-Made-By-Hands), 2015


Catalogue number: 7

egg tempera, 24 kt. gold leaf & gesso on beech wood panel

61.00 x 46.00


The Artist


The Icon of the Saviour, Image Not-Made-By-Hands, also Acheiropoieta (Byzantine Greek: "made without hand") is one of the earliest icons witnessed to by the Church. The feast of this icon – the Third Feast-of-the-Saviour - is celebrated on August 16, following the feast of the Dormition. In 944 the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus (912-59) requested that the Image be brought to the Capital of the Orthodox. With great honour the Image of the Saviour Not-Made-By-Hands was brought by the clergy to Constantinople and on August 16 was placed in the Pharos Church of the Most-Holy Theotokos. In the Upper Room in Jerusalem, after Christ’s Death and Resurrection, there was no text of The New Testament. However, there was an icon – the Prototypical Icon of the Christ The Saviour Acheiropoietos – the Burial Shroud of the Lord; tradition identifies this as The Image (Not-Made-By-Human-Hands). “Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So, they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.” (John 20:3—8) The presence of an icon in the Upper Room is not directly supported by Scripture, but nonetheless, having found linen cloths lying folded in the tomb, the Apostles didn’t cast them aside, rather they returned with them to the Upper Room. Women present re-stitched the narrow band of linen to the binding ribbon which was the full length of the Shroud. Such details remain studied physical features of the Lord’s Burial Shroud, kept at Turin. These linen cloths presented dual problems for the nascent Christian community: not only had they been associated with a dead body and hence unclean, but, perhaps even more problematic, the Burial Shroud carried an Image of the Lord, both frontal and dorsal. The Burial Shroud of the Lord preserves the memory of a series of folds, firstly in half and then in four. So disguised, the linen Shroud presented to the viewer solely the image of the face – mounted and held fast with decorative metal strip work to a board the same size as the folded fabric. It was in this form that the Apostle Thaddaeus “spirited” the Shroud from Jerusalem to the safe haven of Edessa. Fame of our Lord Jesus Christ had come to Abgar, the ruler of Edessa, who, suffering from leprosy, sought healing. Thaddaeus baptized Abgar and all his men and, after venerating the Holy Napkin, Abgar’s leprosy was healed. Abgar’s grandson returned to the worship of the idols, during which time the image of the Lord was concealed, and forgotten, until the time of the Emperor Justinian I (484—565) who sent architects to rebuild Edessa’s Wall in the wake of a catastrophic earthquake. The Holy Napkin was discovered in a niche above the City Gate. It remained in Edessa, even after the Arabs conquered it, until the year 944. It remained in Constantinople until 1203 when the city was sacked by the Latin 4th Crusade.

View artwork in Exhibition

Exhibition Catalogue

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Roy de Maistre


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The Icon of the Saviour (Image Not-Made-By-Hands)

Leonard Brown


egg tempera, 24 kt. gold leaf & gesso on beech wood panel, 61.00 x 46.00

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c. 1950 - 1954

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Spring Tumble II (Mug Lair)

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Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.