Icon: St Nicholas of Mozhaisk

Icon: St Nicholas of Mozhaisk
(click image to zoom-in)
Painting, Tempera on panel, 114x82.5 cm
Origin: Russia, Late 16th century

Robed in bishop's attire, Nicholas of Mozhaisk stands full length, his hands spread wide. In his raised right hand he holds a small silver sword, more like a sabre, with a red hilt. Resting on his left hand is a model of a fortress, meant to symbolise the town of Mozhaisk, of which Nicholas was said to be a fervent protector.

Painted by a master from the Russian north in the late 16th century, this icon is unusual for the simplicity of its composition and the large decorative inscription running along the top. Features typical of the Russian north include the colouring - pale-green combined with deep blue in the clothes, for instance, is to be found in icons produced around the River Dvina in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Personage: St Nicholas
Source of entry: Solvychegodsk Museum
School: North Russian Schools
Theme: The Bible and Christianity

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