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The icon, depicting the coming doomsday is the universal «Last Judgment».

This Novgorod icon of the 16th century in the 1930s was legally sold abroad. Recently it was bought back and in 2004 it was transferred by Vladimir Putin to the late Patriarch Alexiy as a gift for Voskresensky Novodevichy monastery. Now the image is in the Kazan church. The theme of the icon is the universal last judgment, which will take place during the second coming of Jesus Christ. It presents paintings of the doomsday, the resurrection of the dead, the infernal torment of sinners and the heavenly bliss of the righteous. The images of «the Last Judgment» were not intended to frighten a person, but to make him think about his sins and come to the Kingdom of God through repentance.

The time of the iconography of «the Last Judgment» can be reliably considered the Pre-Iconoclastic period of Byzantine Art. Already in the 7th century, there were images related to the theme of the trial of humanity and posthumous retribution.

Iconographic sources that nourished multi-component and complex “judiciary” images are unusually diverse. Old Testament prophecies, the Revelation of St. John the Evangelist (Apocalypse), the works of the Holy Fathers (for example, Ephraim the Syrian) gave an abundance of material that artists used. In the Gospel, the Lord speaks of His Second Coming as follows: “...the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24: 29-31). Following this description, in the upper part of the icons of «the Last Judgment» it always depicts the Savior in glory, and in the lower part are trumpeting angels, gathering people for judgment. On both sides of Christ, twelve apostles are usually seated, also involving in the trial. Our Lady with John the Baptist appears before the Savior in prayer for the humankind. Below, in the center of the icon, Greek Eimasia is always depicted, that is, the throne prepared for the Judge, on which the book (Gospel) and instruments of Jesus' passions are laid: Holy sponge, Holy cane, Holy lance. One of the oldest images of the prepared throne is found in mosaics of the late 7th century in the Church of the Dormition in Nicaea. Subsequently, in Byzantine and Old Russian painting, Greek Eimasia became an important element in the composition of «the Last Judgment», but continued to exist as an independent symbolic image.

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