This particular icon was painted by Pat Maskow-Firem in oils on the lid of a wooden box, in which reading material for prayer may be kept. It is on display at Notre Dame Village until Sept.5, 2023.

    The title of this icon is Christ Pantocrator, Sinai.  It is based on a sixth century icon rendered in encaustic (wax mixed with pigments) and housed in St. Catherine’s Monastery on the Sinai Peninsula.  This icon has many mysterious features.  Most arresting are the unevenly matched eyes of Christ. One eye appears to gaze outward, and the other to look inward.  This may represent the contrasting states we all experience: an outward, worldly gaze necessary to be “in the world”, while simultaneously experiencing an inner state of being “(not of the world”).     The principle of inverse perspective is a characteristic of religious icons. This is evident to the viewer while looking at the Scripture Codex Christ is holding. The pages of the codex appear to grow larger as they retreat from the foreground into the background. This gives the sense of entering the divine world where space and time are insignificant. Christ’s face is said to radiate both solemnity and dignity, while his right hand is raised in blessing.