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The miracle at Chonai is celebrated on September sixth, the feast day of the Archangel Michael. The pagans attempted to divert a river to demolish the church of the Archangel Michael, where the caretaker was the monk Archippus, standing on the right side of the icon, but Michael diverted the waters and spared the church. The church is depicted in the icon, and the river is made up of two water currents that balance the composition. In contrast to the ascetic figure of the monk, Michael is drawn in a super-human scale, and in the form of an ancient hero, he accomplishes this feat on the earth.

Both the articulation of the two figures, and the overall quality of painting indicate that the icon must be the work of a workshop of Constantinople.


Details

Tempera on wood
Second half of twelfth century
37,7 Χ 31,4 cm
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate