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HOME : Russian Icons : Archive : The Vladimir Mother of God
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The Vladimir Mother of God - PF.5698
Origin: Russia
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 12.25" (31.1cm) high
Collection: Russian Icons
Medium: Oklad/Oil on Wood

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: Great Britain
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Inseparable from the liturgical tradition, religious art functions as a form of pictorial confession of faith and a channel of religious experience for Orthodox Christians. Because icons were believed to provide direct personal contact with the holy persons represented on them, these images were objects of veneration, in either a public or private setting or during travels, and were also thought to have the ability to heal.

When gazing upon the painted areas of this masterpiece, one is more likely to recall the works of an Italian master such as Raphael than the works of the Russian master of icon painting, Andrei Rublev. The painter of this spectacular icon might have had formal art training abroad in a foreign land. Perhaps, he was the son of an elite aristocrat family and was able to study the Czars’ collections that comprise the Hermitage museum today. Clearly this artist has been influenced by works outside the traditional Byzantine style that characterizes the majority of Russian icon paintings. What is most impressive about this painting is the stunning beauty and warmth of the painted flesh, considering that the majority or the composition is covered in a gilded brass oklad. A repoussé technique in high relief has been utilized to achieve the folds and curves of the figures’ robes. The metal has also been engraved, depicting the floral patterns of the Virgin’s drapery. A motif in relief of intertwining vines and leaves fills the borders of the oklad. This motif is repeated on the interior of Mary’s halo, a separate piece of metal that has been attached just above the holy figures’ heads. A perforated band frames the edges of the halos. Above all, this extraordinary icon simultaneous moves away from the traditions it also bound by. Thus, it represents a merger of Eastern and Western tastes.
- (PF.5698)


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