At the beginning of the 20th Century the Russian Imperial government adopted a program to preserve icons of the past, and to encourage the production of new works in the old style. Just as the Orthodox faith diverged from Roman Catholic beliefs, so too did Russian art develop its own distinctive style; though certainly influenced by Western traditions. One such innovation was the combining of a silver gilt cover or 'Oklad', over portions of an oil painting. This very lovely example presents a perfect example of Orthodox decorative arts, with its delicately colored enamel around the edge of the halo, on the crown and the cover of the book. The saint's face is a wonderful psychological study, expressing both the worldly suffering of a human being; and the ethereal, spiritual bliss of someone who has 'seen' the light of God. The 'Oklad' is very finely engraved with great detail and ornateness; contrasting nicely with the dreamy, mystical quality of the painting. Such icons as this one were an important part of a Russian home, in this case, the home of someone who could afford such a precious item. It would have been highly valued, not only for its aesthetic value; but also venerated for its obvious expression of simple and profound piety.