Description: Russia, ca. 2nd half of 19th century CE. An icon presenting an ensemble of blessed saints in egg tempera and gold leaf - including Catherine , Natalya, Ann the Prophetess, Ljubov (Love, more commonly interpreted as Charity), John, and Alexander standing in two rows. The seventh saint is most likely John the Evangelist, however this is not entirely clear. Each saint is identified with a gold on blue banner, all beneath Saint Anne in the celestial realm aloft billowing clouds donning red and blue robes. The composition is handsomely 'framed' by a faux enamelwork border of rose pink, sky blue, spring green, sapphire blue, and gold leaf. Size: 14.25" W x 17.75" H (36.2 cm x 45.1 cm)
The Eastern Orthodox Church subscribes to a belief in the intercession of saints. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition every individual is named in honor of a specific saint when baptized, and this saint is regarded as a patron for the person's entire life. In addition, there are patron saints of activities and occupations, ailments and dangers, as well as locales.
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 ornate silver basmas. This icon is embellished with a striking faux enamel border. 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.
Exhibited in "Windows Into Heaven: Russian Icons from the Lilly and Francis Robicsek Collection of Religious Art" at the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina (December 20, 2003 through February 22, 2004) which presented highlights of one of the world's great artistic traditions through an extraordinary group of sixty-five 18th and 19th century Russian icons on loan from the private collection of Lilly and Francis Robicsek.
Provenance: Ex-Francis & Lilly Robicsek Collection, Charlotte, NC
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Condition Report: Losses to peripheries, surface wear with minor losses to pigment and gold leaf as shown. Certificate from Fuad Mousa Ansari, Jerusalem on and wire for suspension on verso.
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