Lot 165: 19th C. Russian Icon - Resurrection / Feasts

Artemis Gallery

March 15, 2018
Louisville, CO, US

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Description: Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. late 19th century CE. A breathtaking festal icon in egg tempera and gold leaf on wood featuring the resurrection of Christ in the center surrounded by a mandorla and standing atop an empty tomb. The Resurrection is the central theme, the "feast of feasts" celebrated not only on Easter but every Sunday. Surrounding this are scenes depicting the events of Holy Thursday and Holy Friday. These scenes are then surrounded by 16 images of feast days celebrated on the liturgical calendar. Complex icons like this example that combine festal and Paschal scenes was also very popular in Russia during the 18th and 19th centuries. Size: 20.75" L x 17" W (52.7 cm x 43.2 cm)

Icons (icon means "image" in Greek) are sacred objects within the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. Found in homes as well as churches, these painted images depict holy persons and saints as well as illustrate scenes from the Scriptures. Some icons are encased in precious metal covers (oklads) adorned with pearls and semi-precious stones or glass-fronted wooden cases (kiots). Some are framed with silver basma. The artist of this example elected to create an intricate border in gold leaf and rich red and blue hues to honor the religious iconography it surrounds. Icons are not worshiped, but are instead venerated for their ability to focus the power of an individual's prayer to God. As such they are truly "windows into heaven."

Provenance: ex-Francis & Lilly Robicsek collection, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

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Condition Report: Normal surface wear commensurate with age. Nice craquelure. The icon shows stabilized fissures with some visible adhesive on verso. Wired for suspension.
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