Brother Philemon of the Skete of Profet Elias: Christ Anaepson (Reclining Christ of the “Sleeping Eye”)

Christ Anaepson (Reclining Christ of the “Sleeping Eye”)

Brother Philemon of the Skete of Profet Elias, Christ Anaepson (Reclining Christ of the “Sleeping Eye”), egg tempera and gold leaf on panel, early 21st century

This icon type, which originates in the 14th century, depicts Christ as the “Anapeson” or “reclining one.” Shown asleep, while awaiting the Resurrection, Christ rests his head on one arm as he reclines on a red “kline” or mattress. The concept of the image has been traced to the description of the lion as an allegory for Christ in the Physiologus, a text of moralized natural history. The lion, who sleeps with eyes open and awakens its dead-born offspring after three days, is understood as referring to the unsleeping lion of Judah, and, further, Christ himself, who guarantees the resurrection of the dead through His own resurrection.

Catalogue
Brother Philemon of the Skete of Profet Elias: Christ Anaepson (Reclining Christ of the “Sleeping Eye”)