This 16th century icon is a part of a celebrated set of festal icons showing important events in the life of Jesus plus a few other renowned feasts of the year. It was painted by George the Cretan for the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou on Mount Athos, and together they are known to be great examples of Post-Byzantine Greek iconographic art. This icon is the ninth of that set of icons.
When Christ is taken down from the Cross after His execution, He is carefully laid and embraced by the Virgin Mary and St. John, the Beloved Disciple, who had stood by Him as He was dying. The Holy Myrrh-Bearers stand behind in anguish and wailing in their grief. Since chronological time is only an imperfect perception within Creation and has a beginning and an end, time in Eternity is multi-dimensional, and includes much more than our conventional understanding in our fallen humanity. Icons show time as it will be in Eternity, and so in this icon, St. Nikodemos and St. Joseph of Arimathea are also present since they will ask for the Body of Christ and bury it in a newly dug cave nearby Golgotha. Adam’s skull is also seen beneath the Cross, and he, too, is present.