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Christ "the Unsleeping Eye" (XVIIc) Icon - X159

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This 17th century icon from Moscow is known as the Unsleeping Eye (Nedremannoe Oko). It depicts Christ Emmanuel, as a youth, reclining on a bed in Paradise, represented in iconography as a white background filled with whimsical trees and plants. He is surrounded by his mother the Theotokos and two Angels. It is related to the simpler Byzantine icons known as "Couched as a Lion."

This icon type is associated with Psalm 120:4, "He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." The meaning of the icon is that, even while Christ slept in his humanity, in his divinity as God he never sleeps, but is always holding the universe in existence.

The symbol finds its ultimate meaning on Holy Saturday, as Christ was "asleep" in the tomb but as God was filling all things, as expressed in this Paschal hymn:

In the grave with the body but in Hades with the soul as God; in paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Holy Spirit wast Thou, O Christ, filling all things, Thyself uncircumscribed.

The original of this icon is approximately 12x12 inches. Order in this size for a near exact size replica of the original!

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