This 15th century Byzantine icon is from the final flowering of Paleologean artistic expression just before the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The term “Pantocrator” comes from the Greek words meaning “Ruler of All”. This style is often found as the principle icon on many iconostases, or icon altar screens, in Orthodox churches. It was probably painted by Angelos who painted in Crete but of the style of the capital city of the Eastern Roman Empire, which later (after its fall) developed into the distinctive style of the Cretan School. It is closest in style to the mid 15th century icon of the Theotokos “Kardiotissa” or “Of the Heart” (our icon T68) now in the Byzantine Museum in Athens, Greece.
Presently in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, it was brought from Constantinople (now Istanbul) to Russia in 1914. Considering its size and where it was found, it was likely a main icon on an iconostasis in Constantinople. It went into a private Russian collection until 1929 and was in the Tretyakov Gallery until 1933 when it came to the Pushkin Museum. Christ calls us to let him rule our hearts and minds in love and faith!