This beautiful icon of Christ Pantocrator was probablly painted in Constantinople about mid-6th century, painted in coloured waxes on a thin 84 x 45.5 cm wood panel, this large icon has in the past been cut down at the top and along the sides, this may account for the slightly off-center placement of Jesus Christ. The icon was probablly later gifted to St Catherine Monastery in Sinai, this is probablly why the icon survived the Iconoclasm, when there was mass destruction of icons, being so far away from Constantinople and believe it not ending up under the protection of Islam and Mohammed himself saved the icon and others in the Monastery, there is written proof of this in the monastery. Even today the monastery houses more than 2,000 icons, dating from the sixth century to modern times.
People who have seen this icon will have noticed something different from other icons of Jesus Christ, the eyes somehow look different. In fact there is something different and purposely so. The eyes and in fact the rest of the face is not symmetrical, the fact is as you can see in the image labeled "Mirrored composites of left and right sides of image" It's like we are looking at 2 different icons, both of Jesus but different, so what is all this about?
Well it is agreed by many that the icon is showing the 2 aspects of our Lord Jesus Christ, one side is the heavenly God the other the man. our left but his right shows the Heavenly God side with his had stretched out in a blessing, his eye is looking at us but slightly above our line of sight.
His left and our right show us his human side, the face looks a little more strained and not as relaxed, he is holding the word of God in his had, for he is the teacher. His eye is on line with ours.
Many icons show the aspects of God, but I think this is the only icon that uses the face to show the different aspects.
A lot of icons will have colour as away of showing the 2 aspects of Jesus Christ, many icons will show Jesus dressed in light to dark red, gold and blue robes. As you can see in the icon titled "Jesus Christ Pantocrator ( The Deesis Mosaic in Hagia Sophia,) Constantinople" Jesus is wearing a red tunic with a gold pattern, Gold is used in icons to represent the Heavenly God, the blue coloured robe represents man. God is wearing the flesh of a man but is God within, God in the flesh!