Wednesday, April 11, 2018

03 Russian Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, #13

 Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. 18th century CE
Egg tempera and gold leaf 
61.625" L x 19.75" H (156.5 cm x 50.2 cm)
Private collection

A portable iconostasis comprised of 15 folding hinged panels including a central double panel with 14 side panels presenting 4 finely painted registers, each icon identified in handwritten Cyrillic. The uppermost register depicts half-length portrayals of patriarchs and prophets surrounding God the Father, and the Son, on the central lunette. Full-length saints engaged in intercessionary prayer Central register of painted icons commemorating feast days. In the lowest register, a central panel depicting Christ the Savior Enthroned holding the gospel on his knees surrounded by a blue mandorla with faint monochromatic. Images of angels and a red rhombus with signs of the 4 evangelists occupying the corners, surrounded by smaller full-length panels depicting the Virgin, various archangels, and saints.


An iconostasis is a wall of icons arranged in tiers according to strict theological and iconographical guidelines that traditionally separates the sanctuary and the nave of a church, symbolizing a visual synthesis of Orthodox Christians' spirituality and faith. More on this iconostasis 


19th C. Russian Icon, Chosen Saints Blessed by Our Lord
Egg tempera and gold leaf 
Size: 14.75" W x 17.5" H (37.5 cm x 44.4 cm)
Private collection

This icon presents an ensemble of blessed saints  - including Ann, Elizabeth, Paraskeva, Eudokia, Gregory of Nazianzus or Gregory of Nyssa, Josef, and Mary of Egypt standing in two rows, each saint identified with a gold on blue banner, all beneath Jesus as he descends from the heavens on billowing clouds donning pastel pink and blue robes. 


19th C. Russian Icon, Chosen Saints Blessed by Our Lord
Detail

In the Eastern Orthodox tradition every individual is named in honor of a specific saint when baptized, and this saint is regarded as a patron for the person's entire life. In addition, there are patron saints of activities and occupations, ailments and dangers, as well as locales. This icon venerates Saint Anne - Ann, Mother of the Virgin and patron saint of childless people, carpenters, grandparents, homemakers, lace makers, lost articles, miners, mothers, poverty, pregnancy, seamstresses, and children; Saint Elizabeth - the mother of John the Baptist, known for tending to the sick, especially those with leprosy and skin diseases; Saint Paraskeva, patron of embroiderers, needle workers, spinners, weavers, and marriage; Saint Eudokia, a wealthy saint who was known for her charitable projects; Saint Gregory, one of the four Latin Fathers of the Church known for establishing Roman liturgy and its music as well as vows of celibacy; Saint Josef, the father of Jesus Christ and spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary regarded as the patron of unborn children, fathers, immigrants, workers, and carpenters; and Mary of Egypt, the patron saint of penitents, chastity, deliverance from demons, fever, and temptations of the flesh. More on this Icon

The Eastern Orthodox Church subscribes to a belief in the intercession of saints. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition every individual is named in honor of a specific saint when baptized, and this saint is regarded as a patron for the person's entire life. In addition, there are patron saints of activities and occupations, ailments and dangers, as well as locales.

Acknowledgement: Artemis Gallery   , and others

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