This beautiful icon of Christ as the “Ruler of All” or Pantocrator was made in egg tempera and has a fine reddish-hued gold background and bright clear reds and deep blues on the Lord’s clothes. His face is serene yet attentive and shows acute but loving awareness, for the Lord of Life is the witness to our every thought, word, and deed, yet is our best and dearest Friend.
He holds an open Gospel book in His left hand and blesses us with His right hand, especially when we listen to His Holy Gospel. Since the Holy Gospel is open, He is teaching us the very life that we are supposed to live for blessings in this world, sometimes easy and sometimes hard, and more importantly, for a life of blessings in the next world. The famous iconographer Michael Damaskinos, who was a native of Crete, painted this icon in the late 16th century and in the post-Byzantine Cretan style. In the years following the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in a.d. 1453, there was a great flowering of the talent of displaced iconographers who worked in Crete, the Ionian islands, Venice, and other parts of Italy. This is quite a fine example of this type of iconography.