The Anastasis and Two Family Saints, late 18th century
The Resurrection is the most important feast of the Orthodox liturgical calendar. It celebrates Christ’s resurrection and descent into hell where he rescued Adam and Eve, the biblical kings Solomon and David, St John the Baptist and other Old Testament figures. The Descent into Hell comes from the apocryphal Book of Nicodemus. This event is known as Anastasis in Greek, Voskresenie in Russian and the Harrowing of Hell in English.
The rescue of Adam and Eve in particular serves as a representation of the salvation of all humanity from the tombs of spiritual death. The iconography originated in Byzantium in the 9th century and spread to the West. While it became more complex during the 18th and 19th century in Russia, this example maintains the simplicity of earlier examples.