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Christ is depicted on the left hand side of the entrance from the narthex to the naos. Along with His mother who is portrayed on the right side of the entrance and John the Forerunner painted next to Jesus this create a Deesis. Deesis constitutes an integral part of the iconographic representation of the Last Judgement functioning as intercessor. Concurrently, the placement of these three important figures of Christianity in the lower band of frescoes in the narthex which traditionally includes depictions inspired by the sanctoral cycle, strengthens the saints’ prayers for the salvation of humankind.
Christ is portrayed frontally holding an open codex on His left hand and blessing with His right. On each side of His halo there are his sigla and His characterisation, Jesus Christ the Merciful.
The text written on the codex quotes John 13:34: 'I give you a new commandment that you love one another and ranges on the same theme, the Salvation, as texts on Christ’s book in other Cypriot churches'. One can think that the present text and the inscription appearing on the north wall of the narthex accompanying the scenes of the paradise are linked and together convey the message that through loving and helping each other, we will secure a place in Paradise. This is the explanation for Christ entitled as merciful.
Contextualising Deesis in the whole iconographic program of the narthex of Asinou, it functions as a key image either by its placement, the selection of inscriptions or the gestures of each figure and serves a number of roles. Firstly it is part of the Last Judgement. Then it copies the iconography of the Deesis on the templon and sets zones of prayer and gradual holiness from the narthex to the church. And lastly, Deesis has the role of the recipient of the intercessions of the saints depicted in the narthex, the individuals or groups of donors portrayed on the walls, the brotherhood of the monastery and every person participating in the services. These roles can be enclosed with the cyclical procedure of response. John preaches that the Kingdom of Heaven will not be late and evokes the humankind that only though repentance they will earn a place in Heaven. Mary, on the other hand, asks from her son the salvation of humans and, in turn, Christ gives back a new command, to love one another, as a precondition. Therefore, if those commands are fulfilled, then Jesus, Eleemon as He is, will show mercy and will bless the faithful.




Digital Heritage Research Lab of Cyprus University of Technology




Digital Heritage Research Lab of Cyprus University of Technology
Library of Cyprus University of Technology

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Digital Heritage Research Lab of Cyprus University of Technology





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Απαγορεύεται η δημοσίευση ή αναπαραγωγή, ηλεκτρονική ή άλλη χωρίς τη γραπτή συγκατάθεση του δημιουργού.


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Ioannides, Marinos, “Christ Merciful,” Αψίδα, accessed December 5, 2020,