Mandylion - Image of Jesus - oil on wood
35 x 45cm - can be custom made
Artist Zenon Rozycki - Original hand painted oil
This painting is made on order. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks
"The legend of the mandylion as it is known today is the product of centuries of development. The first and earliest version involves a letter written by King Abgar of Edessa to Jesus, asking him to come cure him of an illness. It is found in the History of the Church (1.13.5-1.13.22) written by Eusebius of Caesarea who claimed that he had transcribed and translated the actual letter in the Syriac chancery documents of the king of Edessa. In this earliest account, Christ replies by letter, saying that when he had completed his earthly mission and ascended, he would send a disciple to heal Abgar (and does so). It is noteworthy that in this first account there is no mention of an image of Jesus. That was a later addition to the story.
The next stage of development appears in the Doctrine of Addai [Thaddeus], c. 400, which introduces a court painter among a delegation sent by Abgar to Jesus, who paints a portrait of Jesus to take back to his master:
- When Hannan, the keeper of the archives, saw that Jesus spoke thus to him, by virtue of being the king's painter, he took and painted a likeness of Jesus with choice paints, and brought with him to Abgar the king, his master. And when Abgar the king saw the likeness, he received it with great joy, and placed it with great honor in one of his palatial houses. (Addai 13)
By 544, when the court historian Procopius recorded the recovery of Edessa from the Persians, he attributed the event to the letter sent from Jesus to Abgar. Yet in 593 Evagrius attributed the same event to a miraculous "God-made image," a miraculous imprint of the face of Jesus upon a cloth. It was this last and latest stage of the legend that became accepted in Eastern Orthodoxy and was mistakenly regarded as historical.
Thus we can trace the development of the legend from a letter, but no image in Eusebius, to an image painted by a court painter in Addai; then to a miracle caused by the letter in Procopius, which becomes a miracle caused by a miraculously-created image supernaturally made when Jesus pressed a cloth to his wet face in Evagrius.