This icon depicts the great Sinai recluse, also metaphorically called the pride of Sinai and the fruit of the desert, in full frontal posture clad in monk’s garb. His face has been portrayed in a number of Sinai icons; there are, however, also different portraits of the Saint in the illuminated manuscripts of the Heavenly Ladder that are preserved in the Monastery.

The intense chiaroscuro gives the Sinai abbot an almost incorporeal appearance. The white brushstrokes on his beard, the articulation of the face with the use of green-tinted shadows, and the overall use of lighting reflect an art that stays true to tradition. This is an artwork created in Sinai that emanates an intensely spiritual aura.


Egg-tempera on wood
Fourteenth-fifteenth century
23 Χ 19 cm
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate