The

Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Saints Constantine and Helena - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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XX023. Saints Constantine and Helena

Russian
Circa 1900
31 x 21 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

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The Emperor Constantine the Great (273 - 333) converted to Christianity after the battle of the Milvian Bridge which won him the imperial title. Soon after Christianity became the official religion of the empire. He founded the city that bears his name, Constantinople, in 330. It survived until its capture by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. He is sainted by the Church and given the title ‘Equal to the Apostles’. The Emperor is shown here together with his mother, Helena (250-330), who has the same title as her son. It is known that she went to Jerusalem and Bethlehem where she founded and endowed important churches.[1]

Here we see them standing either side of the True Cross. The iconography refers to the belief that Helena, while on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, discovered fragments of the cross in a cave at Golgotha, the site of Christ’s crucifixion and burial.




Footnotes:-
1. For more information see: https://www.brown.edu/Research/...Augusta.pdf