The following paragraph is from an essay of mine in progress and refers to an icon in an icon exhibit at The Russian Museum of Art a couple years ago. The quality of the picture is poor because I took it with my cell phone in a room with low light.
In the “Feasts Tier,” a row of ten icons, the “Transfiguration of our Lord” hangs second from the end. Jesus takes center position, a robe as white as light, a slash of gold sash, Moses and Elijah to his right and left, respectively. Gold haloes on each. Unlike all the other icons in this exhibit, this one commemorating a late summer feast shows movement. Their robes and capes furl as the three men hover above ground in imagined wind. Mouths are closed, but there is no doubt of a conversation in progress. Hands and arms with bent elbows are caught mid-motion. As the story goes his face is glowing like the sun, but I don’t see it here. A layer of cotton-ball clouds hold the browns, greens, yellows, and reds down to earth, the background above nothing but creamy white. The clouds are just gray enough to suggest a degree of threat. Has the benedictory Voice already spoken? On the hard ground—which yet managed to bloom a flowering plant and sprout a sapling—and looking this way and that, twist the fearful Peter, James, and John.