Icon: Sts Theodore Stratilates and Theodore Tiron

Icon: Sts Theodore Stratilates and Theodore Tiron
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Painting, Tempera on panel and gilding, 53.5x38 cm
Origin: Russia, 15th century

Here we see two saints who were very popular in Novgorod, warriors and martyrs for their faith in Christ. Theodore Stratilates was particularly revered as the patron saints of soldiers.

This depiction of holy warriors belongs to a type of icon which was widespread in Novgorod art in the 15th and 16th centuries. Selected saints were shown full length, frontally, in a row. In the left hand of each is a sword, and in the right a spear resting on the ground. In the attire of the warrior saints we see red, green, yellow and olive tones. At the top in the green segment of sky is a waist-length depiction of Christ, blessing the saints with hands spread.

The icon is related to a trend in Novgorod art of the second half of the 15th century which was characteristed by the creation of elegant, fragile forms. The figures of the warriors are light and unsteady, with small heads, twisted bodies and swirling robes.

Source of entry: Purchasing Commission of the Experts of the State Hermitage Museum, 1957
School: Novgorod
Theme: The Bible and Christianity
Exibition: Culture of Muscovite Russia: 15th - 17th centuries

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