Slava Gallery, LLC


Image Description
This icon is based on the text John 13:1-16. Christ "rose from the meal and took off his cloak. He picked up a towel and tied it around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet and dry them with the towel"(John 13:4-6). According to Eastern custom, the master of the house or his servant would anoint the feet of guests. In completing this act of washing the apostles' feet, Christ observed this custom of hospitality to show his love for his disciples. "He had loved his own in this world, and would show his love for them to the end."(John 13:1). Christ also performed this act as an opportunity to teach his disciples true humility. "But if I washed your feet—I who am Teacher and Lord—then you must wash each other's feet. What I just did was to give you an example:"(John 13:14-15). This significant event holds many meanings. Not only is it a lesson and example of humility, it also forebodes Christ's expectations of the future role of the propagation of his lessons by his apostles after his own death on Good Friday. The event also has symbolic allusions to the spiritual cleansing and preparation of the apostles for the difficult times ahead of them. The composition of the icon of The Washing of the Apostles' Feet usually arranges the twelve apostles seated in a circle. Christ stands before them with a towel and a basin of water. Christ is often depicted in action, washing the feet of the first apostle seated in the long line of apostles, St. Peter.

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