Icon: Sts Florus and Laurus

Icon: Sts Florus and Laurus
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Painting, Tempera on panel and gilding, 48x36 cm
Origin: Russia, Late 15th - 16th century

Florus and Laurus were martyrs, 2nd-century stonemason brothers who were secretly of the Christian faith. They took part in the building of a pagan temple, but as soon as construction was completed they removed the pagan idols and turned it into a church. The pagans seized the brothers and threw them into an empty well, tossing heavy stones after them.

In ancient Rus, Florus and Laurus were honoured as the patron saints of livestock. Their images were often to be found on Novgorod and northern Russian icons. Both saints are shown here full length, holding a cross in his right hand. They wear chitons and robes. Their faces reveal a difference in age, Florus being the elder.

This icon was produced by a north Russian master in the late 15th or 16th century, and in many ways is close to Novgorod depictions of these same saints. But the simplified forms, the distorted proportions of the figures and the facial types are evidence that this is the work of a local Northern master.

Source of entry: State Hermitage Expedition, Arkhangelsk Region, 1957
School: North Russian Schools
Theme: The Bible and Christianity
Exibition: Russian Culture: 15th - 17th centuries

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