The Rainbow Motif in Christian ArtMakarova Nina
The article considers the iconography of Christian art associated with the rainbow motif. A rainbow is a beautiful optical phenomenon in the atmosphere that occurs when light is scattered on water droplets; it has the form of a multicolored arc or two arcs. The shining rainbow in Scripture is closely related to God's acts of communication with the chosen people such as Noah and the prophets. In such iconographic schemes as the Last judgment, the All saints’ Day and the Ascension of the Lord, the rainbow motif, based on the prophetic visions of Ezekiel and John the Apostle, is a symbol of the radiance of the Divine Glory and Majesty of God in His appearance to the prophets. In these iconographies, the rainbow is depicted with different degree of conventionality. Thus, it can be represented in one or two colors, but can also be made with expressive brightness in several colors of the spectrum. In these iconographies, the rainbow often represents the throne of the Lord within the mandorla - an oval or round frame around the figure of Christ or the Virgin, which has a complex symbolism associated with the image of a cloud, with the Divine Glory, as well as with the special nature of the image of Christ or the Virgin, which is outside the physical time and space. In a number of other iconographic schemes, the rainbow motif has the meaning of God's mercy. These are compositions associated with God’s Covenant with Noah, as well as with the Lord Covenant with the chosen people – the Church, which is reflected, in particular, in the compositions of Noah's Ark and the iconography of Our Lady of Mount Nerukosechnaya.