Christ: Pantocrator [Full figure]
About this icon
The icon presents the rarest type of the image of Christ Pantocrator. His full-length figure is draped in the heavy folds of a himation (Roman cloak-like garment) from which His right hand, in a gesture of blessing, is shown slightly emerging, while in His left hand He holds a closed Gospel.
Christ's brown hair is centrally parted, and his head is surrounded by a halo. On each side of the halo are Greek letters: IC and XC.
Christ Pantocrator [Ruler of All]
Pantocrator or Pantokrator is one of many titles ascribed to the Divine. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek as the Septuagint, Pantokrator was used to translate the Hebrew title El Shaddai. Early Christians ascribed this title to Jesus of Nazareth.
The most common translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All-powerful." This is often understood in terms of potential power; i.e., able to do anything, or omnipotent. Another, less literal translation is "Ruler of All" or "Sustainer of the World."
Pantokrator is roughly synonymous with the western concept of omnipotence. But omnipotence is power in stasis while the power of the Pantokrator is dynamic.
The icon of Christ Pantokrator is one of the most widely used religious images of Orthodox Christianity. Generally speaking, in Byzantine church art and architecture, an icon of Christ Pantokrator occupies the space in the central dome of the church, or simply on the ceiling, over the nave.