The making of a contemporary Coptic Pantocrator

Christ Pantocrator, 6th Century, St Apollo’s monastery, Bawit, Egypt, now at the Coptic Museum, Cairo. This apse is one of the earliest depiction of Christ in Glory in the ellipse.

Christ in Glory or Pantocrator (Almighty), is arguably the most important icon to be found in a Coptic Orthodox church. It is always found in the central Eastern apse of the sanctuary. The image of Christ in Glory has remained more or less unchanged in content since at least the 6th century and possibly earlier. It depicts the vision described by St John the Divine in Revelations 5:5. Christ is enthroned inside an ellipse with Earth as His footstool, according to Isaiah 66:1 ” Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool. He is surrounded by the Four Living Creatures. Below are the twenty four priests offering incense in perpetual praise.

Pantocrator 2019, St Mary & St Athanasius, Hillsborough NJ

The Pantocrator in the following video was designed according to the Neo-Coptic canon established by Prof Isaac Fanous and painted in the traditional egg tempera technique.

This film was edited by Daniel Corbett from spontaneous clips he recorded while working as my assistant. Four of us worked for 3 intense weeks during Great Lent in April 2019 at St Mary and St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

The Making of a contemporary Coptic Pantocrator

Assisting me are Daniel Corbett, London, Calum Rees-Gildea, London, Amina Ahmed, New York


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