From the Pantanassa Icon Studio.
“Pantocrator” is the Greek word meaning “Ruler of All,” and many icons are modeled after this original. Christ is traditionally shown with a short beard and long dark hair parted in the middle, holding a jewel-studded Book of the Gospels in His left arm and blessing us with His right hand. Three fingers touch representing His Divinity, and two fingers are up to symbolize that He is fully God and fully Man, the forefinger bent for His Incarnation.
The Saviour has a serious and intent look, like the King of All looking upon His people. His face is not symmetrical but has a look of dignity and calmness on one side and a different look of arching of the eyebrows causing enlivenment on the other. These dissimilar but complimentary impressions strike a harmony between the Divine and Human Natures of Christ. The original worked in an encaustic or wax-melting technique, this great treasure from the sixth century is one of the earliest icons of Christ still in existence. It is one of the famous icons at St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai preserved by the ideal climate and in the lack of the 8th and 9th centurys’ iconoclastic persecution in that area.