Russia Religion Subjects Jesus Christ Christ in the Dungeon (The Midnight Saviour)

Christ in the Dungeon (The Midnight Saviour)

Jesus Christ is generally depicted wearing a crown of thorns in the last hours of His life on earth. Although there are many different types, thematic variations and manners of execution, the face of Christ is almost always interpreted realistically, with His figure conveyed in a simplistic manner. Western sculpture usually rejects a detailed plastic treatment of the subject. When carving sculptures for churches and chapels, Russian masters bore in mind that the figure of Christ was usually covered in brocade or velvet clothes, with the exception of the head and the hands.

The appearance of such new subjects as Christ in the Dungeon in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries met with a mixed reception. Tsars and archbishops often expressed their open hostility, while the patriarch in the seventeenth century and the Holy Synod in the eighteenth century even went as far as to ban the creation and presence of such representations in places of worship. With the passage of time, however, carved sculptures began to reappear in Russian churches and chapels. A typical example was Christ in the Dungeon, also known as the Midnight Saviour, the Suffering Christ and Christ the Veritable.

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