Icon: Mother of God

Icon: Mother of God
(click image to zoom-in)
Painting, Tempera on panel and gilding, 158.5x60.5 cm
Origin: Russia, Late 15th - early 16th century

This image of the Virgin is the work of a Moscow master of the late 15th or early 16th century and formed part of a Deesis row. The Deesis Row is the main part of the iconostasis , expressing the idea of intercession by the saints for mankind before Christ the judge .

The central image would have been an icon with Christ in Majesty. Traditionally the Virgin was shown full length, head bowed in prayer. She wears a reddish-brown robe with a blue chiton.

In terms of iconography and style, the fine features of the Virgin's calm face, her small elegant hands and elongated figure, this icon has much in common with the classical images of 15th-century Moscow art, which still owed much to Andrey Rublyov. Yet at the same time the image has analogies in the icons of the early 16th century, an indication of the continuation of traditions which was usual in ancient Russian art.

The Hermitage also has an icon of the Apostle Paul from the same Deesis row.

Personage: The Mother of God
Source of entry: Exchange Fund of the State Hermitage Museum, 1948
School: Moscow
Theme: The Bible and Christianity
Exibition: Culture of Muscovite Russia: 15th - 17th centuries

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