Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, c.19th century
Tempera and gilding on panel
31cm x 27cm
Loaned by the University of Liverpool Museum and Galleries
The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ
The feast of the Transfiguration is celebrated on 6th August in the Orthodox Church. Images occur from very early times, the earliest of them (e.g. St Apollinaire in Classe, Ravenna) are symbolical, but these were soon supplanted by illustrations of the biblical text. Our icon is in the classical form, Christ central between Moses and Elias on the mountain top with the agitated figures of the Apostles below. The event is seen as having various theological meanings: it demonstrates the dual nature of Christ as God made Man and prefigures the Resurrection. The colouring of this icon is particularly brilliant, the white robes of Christ reflect the text, but for the rest the artist has taken pleasure in a rich display, the scarlet and gold of St. John being particularly luxurious. The evocation of highlights by flat white areas is notable. The Kingdom of Heaven appears in a quadrant at the top left.
(Text from booklet: Icons presented by Professor Robert Roaf FRCS in the University of Liverpool Gallery, 1986)
The Roaf Icon Collection
The icons were donated to Liverpool University by Professor Robert Roaf who was Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University from 1964 to July 1976. After graduating from Oxford in 1934, with a first class honours degree in physiology, he qualified in medicine in 1937. In 1939 he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, in 1942 of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, and in 1946 he achieved the Mastership in Orthopaedic Surgery. Professor Roaf showed academic interest in his subject very early, and this was recognised by his appointment in the University as part-time lecturer in 1947, and in 1955 as Director of Clinical Studies and Research at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry. He held appointments as consultant orthopaedic surgeon not only to the Liverpool Teaching Hospital, but also to several hospitals in the Region. His research work on spinal deformities gained him international recognition, and he travelled widely, teaching and demonstrating over the Indian Sub-Continent and Africa as well as in Europe, America, Russia, South East Asia and China. He was consulted at a national level on orthopaedic problems, and was a member of the Central Accident Services Review Committee set up by the National Health Service. Professor Roaf was also a Member of the General Medical Council and from 1971-74 was Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University.
(Taken from the Liverpool University biographical records)