Christ in the Dungeon

Source: Russian Life

February 3, 2019


This fascinating exhibition is running in St. Petersburg through Feb. 10. It presents wooden religious sculpture drawn from collections of 14 museums throughout Russia. All the sculptures are of a rare, but significant, subject in Russian Orthodox iconography – “Christ in the Dungeon” (“Midnight Savior”) – the depiction of Jesus Christ imprisoned, subjected to desecration and awaiting his ascent to Calvary on the first stop of the Via Dolorosa. For those who cannot visit, we offer a photo feature and notes from the curator.

The days of my early youth fell in the beginning of the last quarter of the twentieth century. It was the time of censorship and restrictions, when a book was believed to be the best gift. It was then when I received a small album Perm Wooden Sculpture as a present.

On the book's cover was an image of Christ seated with a palm against his cheek: one sculpture, another one, the third, the fourth, and somewhere in the distance a small fifth one. I was surprised by the Savior’s unusual posture, the strange gesture and the face with intense features, especially wide Asian cheekbones. The figures were naked and sat one behind another, which made a really strong impression.

...Read the rest at Russian Life.


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