Golubeva Irina

From Сhrist Pantokrator to Salvator Mundi: the development of the iconography of the savior in Italian panel painting of the 13th — 15th centuries

Golubeva Irina (2023) "From Shrist Pantokrator to Salvator Mundi: the development of the iconography of the savior in Italian panel painting of the 13th — 15th centuries ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2023, vol. 51, pp. 54-67 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV202351.54-67


The iconography of Jesus Christ is one of the most relevant and, at the same time, the most difficult subjects to study. The formation of stable iconographic types of the Savior’s image went through a complicated path, going through various transformations, mainly related to the practical or liturgical function of icons. One of the most popular type, Pantokrator, has been realized in the panel painting of the Italian central region from the earliest times in the copies of the main Roman relic - Acheropita (Greek: Αχειροποίητα, the Image of Christ Not Made by Human Hands), which, as believed, had the same miraculous and protective power as an ancient icon. These copies, representing the image of the Savior on the throne (sometimes flanked by the parts of a triptych with the praying Virgin Mary and Saint John depicted) were largely produced for the churches of Rome and Lazio until the end of the 15th century. In the Renaissance, with its focus on individual religious practice, there is an increasing demand for small altars for home prayer, where artists implemented a new type of iconography, Veronica (Latin: Vera Icona, True Face), which (as well as Acheropita) was associated with the legend of the miraculous discovery of a relic and also endowed with a special protective power. Various interpretations of the illustrative images of the True Face in Italy and the artistic solutions found by the painters of Northern Europe finally lead to the formation and wide circulation in the Renaissance art of another iconographic variation - the Savior of the World (Latin: Salvator Mundi). This article discusses the pictorial and textual sources that determined the completion of the main iconographic types of Jesus Christ in Italian panel painting of the 13th – 15th centuries and with many of attracted samples studies the development of Savior’s iconography.


Iconography of Jesus Christ, Iconography of the Savior, Salvator Mundi, Italian Art, Religious Art, Renaissance Art, Art of 13th-15th century.


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Information about the author

Golubeva Irina

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: Art and Architecture Department, Russian Institute of Art History; St. Petersburg, Russia, 190000, Isaakievskaya pl. 5;
ORCID: 0000-0003-0983-1292;
Email: igolubeva@yandex.ru.