“Israelites celebrate the first Passover”

“Israelites celebrate the first Passover”

(reverse side of the iconostasis of St. Andrew’s Church)


The author is unknown. Mid-18th c. Oil on canvas. 361 x 233 cm

from the collection of the National Conservation Area “St. Sophia of Kyiv”


The icon was located in the central part above the Holy Gate on the reverse side of the iconostasis, which was decorated with six icons on the plots of the Old Testament cycle.

The icon depicts a ritual meal during the celebration of the most important Jewish holiday, Passover (Pesach), when the whole family gathers at the table to taste the Passover lamb. This ancient tradition was bequeathed to his people by Moses, as described in the Book of Exodus, Chap. 12:

‘… On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father.… Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year… Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight… Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread…And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.!

The authorship of the icon has not been established, but it is known that Ukrainian artists Ivan Romenskyi and Ivan Chaikovskyi were involved in writing the icons on the back of the iconostasis.

The icon was restored in two stages. The first stage (1987-1992) was performed by artists-restorers of “Ukrrestavratsiia” – Myronenko V.L., Yakovenko I.V. The second stage (2006) was executed by the artists-restorers of the Lviv branch of the National Research and Restoration Center of Ukraine [ННДРЦУ] Hlyvka O.H., Kozak A.T. After restoration, the icon is exhibited in the northern exhibition hall of St. Sophia Cathedral.