The image of Paradise in «The Sermon on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin» by Ioanikii Galiatovskii
Keywords:image of Paradise, Ioanikii Galiatovskii, Annunciation, Virgin Mary, Angelic Choirs
The article attempts to analyse the image of paradise in “The Sermon on the Annunciation of the Holy Virgin" from the collection "The Key of Understanding" (1659) by Ioanikii Galiatovskii. Paradise in his sermon is depicted as a hierarchical structure of the nine Angelic Choirs: the Angels, the Archangels, the Principality, the Authority, the Mastery, the Parish, the Throne, the Cherubim, and the Seraphim. Comparing the angelic choirs of Galiatovskii and the depiction of celestial choirs in «The Mirror of Theology» (1618) by Cyryl Trankvylion Stavrovetskyi, one can see some differences, including a change in the sequence of arrangement of angelic choirs and in the semantics of names, which Galiatovskii supplements with explanations of the saints' presence on all choirs. The theme of the Annunciation that becomes the beginning of the salvation of the human soul is brought closer to the understanding of paradise. If one compares the preaching on Gospel with a painting one can easily grasp substantial differences in the interpretation. Galiatovskii does not follow the biblical story of the Annunciation, which tells how did the Archangel Gabriel appear to the Holy Virgin and inform her of the birth of Christ. Instead, he interprets this event in anagogical (spiritual sense), describing paradise and the Blessed Virgin in a similar way. Visual art closely follows the biblical text when depicting the Annunciation – the Holy Virgin and the Archangel, who holds a white lily that means god news, are surrounded by several tiny angels that are holding a white lily flower (like in the painting by the French artist Philip de Champaign "Annunciation", 1644). Interestingly, the interpretation of the Annunciation in Ioanikii Galiatovskii’s writing is close to the theme of the Assumption. One might mention the painting "Assumption of the Virgin" (1475 - 1476) by the Italian artist Francesco Botticini, who depicted the Holy Virgin standing next to the hierarchical structure of the nine Angelic Choirs.