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HOME : Russian Icons : Archive : The Mother of God of Kazan
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The Mother of God of Kazan - PF.5691
Origin: Russia
Circa: 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 8.75" (22.2cm) high
Collection: Russian Icons
Medium: Oklad/Oil on Wood

Additional Information: SOLD

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

The oil painting of this icon is extremely realistic. However, only the flesh of the two holy figures has been painted, the rest of this extraordinary work is encased in a brass oklad. A repousse technique in high relief has been utilized to produce the folds and curves of the figures' drapery. The metal has also been engraved to depict the floral patterns of the Virgin's robes as well as the sun burst luminescence that radiates from both of their heads. The borders of the oklad have also been elaborated by an engraved abstract motif, including a line of Cyrillic text at the bottom center. To represent Jesus and Mary's halos, an additional engraved oklad with perforated edges has been attached to the icon. The metal not only imitates the elegance of gold, but also contrasts and emphasizes the softness of the painted flesh. Here, Christ raises his right hand in a sign of benediction as the Virgin holds him close. This is an intimate scene between a mother and child. In them, we see our own selves. Like many icon paintings, this work attempts to combine the familiar and the divine into one. They are both mother and child and Mary and Christ. They are both human, like us, and yet holy, worthy of our adoration and veneration.
- (PF.5691)


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