14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts Level 1, NGV International
The image of the Christ Pantocrator (‘Lord of All’) is one of the earliest and most iconic images in the Christian Church, found on early Christian mosaics and encaustic panels. The format is invariable, showing Christ in half length, holding the New Testament in his left hand and making a blessing with his right. The image projects a mild but stern, all-powerful judge of humanity. It sometimes features a subtle asymmetry to the gaze and set of the mouth, to reflect Christ’s dual humanity (divine and human). The gospel pages read, ‘Come unto Me, ye chosen of My Father’ (Matthew 25:34).