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HOME : Russian Icons : Miscellaneous : The Mother of God
The Mother of God - PF.5601
Origin: Russia
Circa: 18 th Century AD
Dimensions: 17.375" (44.1cm) high
Collection: Russian Icons
Medium: Tempera on Wood

Location: United States
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Inseparable from the liturgical tradition, religious art is seen by Orthodox Christians as a form of pictorial confession of faith and a channel of religious experience. Because the icons provide a direct personal contact with the holy persons represented on them, these images were objects of veneration, in either a public or private setting, and were even believed to have the ability to heal.

This icon is a touching portrait of the Virgin Mary. Stylistically, the linear folds and angular highlights of her drapery derive from earlier Byzantine paintings and mosaics, typical of most Orthodox icons. She is crowned by a halo delineated from the radiant gold leaf background by a thin red line. The interior of the halo is decorated by a series of incised dots depicting a wreath. The Virgin’s robes are also adorned in sumptuous jewelry. White pearls dot the cuffs and edges of her garment; a few precious gems are visible on her shoulder, cuff, and headdress. The most intriguing detail is the partially unraveled scroll inscribed in the Cyrillic alphabet she holds in her left hand and points to with her right. This work, like many icons, seeks to combine the familiar and the divine into one. Mary is both human, like us, and yet holy, worthy of our adoration and veneration.
- (PF.5601)


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