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HOME : Russian Icons : Russian Icons : Septpartite Icon
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Septpartite Icon - PF.5704
Origin: Russia
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD

Collection: Russian Icons
Medium: Tempera on Wood

Location: United States
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Inseparable from the liturgical tradition, religious art functions as a form of pictorial confession of faith and a channel of religious experience for Orthodox Christians. Because icons were believed to provide direct personal contact with the holy persons represented on them, these images were objects of veneration, in either a public or private setting or during travels, and were also thought to have the ability to heal.

This composition has been divided into seven panels: three on the top and bottom rows, and a continuous row in the center. The Mother of God is depicted on the top left followed by the Resurrection in the center and St. Nicholas on the right. The central panel is a frieze of six saints. The lower rung occupied by St. George Slaying the Dragon on the left, two female saints in the center, and a male saint on the right. An interwoven abstract band painted in red and green decorates the border. The deep red, green, and blue hues of the painting stands out against the luminous gold leaf background. Stylistically, much is derived from earlier Byzantine paintings and mosaics. This influence is evident in the elongation of the figures and the linear, angular treatment of the drapery, as well as the lack of an elaborated special setting aside from the solid gold plane symbolizing heaven. Above all, this icon was a sacred object of veneration, combining a variety of holy figures together in a cohesive composition in order to facilitate prayer.
- (PF.5704)


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