8_ 800 _775-34_-87
Icon 'The Vernicle Image of the Saviour' late 15th - early 16th cent.)
Double-sided tablet icon from the series of tablets from St. Sophia's Cathedral in Novgorod. The icon is presently kept in a city museum.
The tradition considers the Vernicle to be the first icon of Christ that appeared during His earthly life. A 6th cent. fable has is that Abgar, the king of Edessa sick with lepra sent his servant to Christ imploring Him to come to Edessa or allow making His portrait. In response, Christ washed His face and after He wiped His face with a towel, His image was miraculously printed on the cloth. After receiving the Vernicle, the king recovered; he then fixed the image on a wooden panel and put it above the gate to his city. In 944, the Vernicle was transferred to Constantinople, and a special feast was set to commemorate the event, celebrated on August 29 (August 16 by Julian calendar). The Vernicle disappeared after Constantinople was demolished by the Crusaders in 1204. A wonderworking copy of the Vernicle is kept in the Cathedral of the city of Lanne, France.
The tradition considers the Vernicle to be the first icon of Christ that appeared during His earthly life. The Vernicle is the only icon depicting Christ as a personality, as all the other icon types show Jesus performing certain actions or point at some of His attributes