St. Peter the Apostle - Icon in the Monastery of St. Catherine

The Icons of St. Catherine's Monastery
In Egypt's Sinai

John Watson

St. Peter the Apostle

St. Peter the Apostle - Icon in the Monastery of St. Catherine

The Saint is portrayed with large wide-open eyes, short gray hair and short well-groomed beard, holding a cross in the left hand and three keys in the right. The face is painted in the tradition of the encaustic Fayoum portraits of Alexandrian art. The Saint's head is surrounded by a large golden halo. The top fo the icon is occupied by three small medallions. The middle one, with a cross in the background, contains a portrait of Christ and the right one a portrait of the Virgin. The identification of the beardless youth portrayed in the third medallion has posed a problem to scholars. Some believe that he should be identified either with Moses or St. John the Evangelist. The latter is the choice of several scholars because he appears to correspond to the Virgin on the right of the crucified Christ. Besides, the depiction of these particular holy figures in the three medallions may be interpreted as a representation of the Crucifixion, and linked with the obvious symbolism of the cross in St. Peter's hand, which can but allude to the Saint's death on the cross. Various scholars have dated this icon to the 6th or 7th century, though an earlier date in the 5th century cannot be ruled out. It is painted using the encaustic technique (.52 X .39 meters)

Back Icon Gallery Next

Back to

The Icons of the Monastery of St. Catherine St. Catherine Home


Who are we?

Tour Egypt aims to offer the ultimate Egyptian adventure and intimate knowledge about the country. We offer this unique experience in two ways, the first one is by organizing a tour and coming to Egypt for a visit, whether alone or in a group, and living it firsthand. The second way to experience Egypt is from the comfort of your own home: online.