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https://collectrussia.com/DISPITEM.HTM?item=38058
Item# 38058   $220.00  Add to cart   Show All Images   Download PDF
Russian Orthodox Icon of Mother of God of Smolensk (Смоленская икона Божией Матери), circa mid-XIX Century.

In bronze; measures 12 cm x 9.5 cm (approx. 4.75" x 3.75"). Although much detail has been worn from this icon is preserves the classic symbols of the oldest image of Virgin and Christ Child. The Virgin Mary is identified with her monogram in abbreviated Russian, "Mary Theotokos, the Bearer of God". Three stars usually appear on the forehead and both shoulders of the Virgin Mary to indicate her perpetual virginity before and after the birth of Christ. The star on the forehead is worn away and her right shoulder almost gone, but the left shoulder was protected by the arm of Christ

In bronze; measures 12 cm x 9.5 cm (approx. 4.75" x 3.75"). Although much detail has been worn from this icon is preserves the classic symbols of the oldest image of Virgin and Christ Child. The Virgin Mary is identified with her monogram in abbreviated Russian, "Mary Theotokos, the Bearer of God". Three stars usually appear on the forehead and both shoulders of the Virgin Mary to indicate her perpetual virginity before and after the birth of Christ. The star on the forehead is worn away and her right shoulder almost gone, but the left shoulder was protected by the arm of Christ and is clearly visible in great detail.

The image of Christ is that of Christ Emmanuel, the pre-eternal God giving a benediction with His right hand and holding a scroll (worn away) in His left hand. He is the sovereign and sits upright facing the people looking straight ahead as would a king on his throne. His right eye is barely made out showing His gaze towards His people. Mary's hand is raised in a gesture of presentation of her son to the people.

The icon was inspired by the much-revered icon of Smolensk Mother of God (aka Virgin of Smolensk or Smolensk Hodegetria), which was according to the Orthodox tradition painted by the Evangelist Luke. It was brought to Russia by a Constantinople princess Anna when she married Prince Vsevolod, the heir of Kiev Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise. After the death of Grand Prince Vsevolod, the icon was given to his son, Vladimir II Monomakh, and then permanently installed in the Smolensk Cathedral. During the great Mongol invasion in 1240, the icon was credited with saving the city from being sacked and burned down. It also played a role in inspiring Russian troops during the Napoleonic invasion in 1812. The original icon was lost after 1941, when the city of Smolensk was occupied by the Germans.

The icon is in good overall condition. There is significant amount of wear to the raised portions of the artwork, but the background details remain well-defined. The edges of the frame have no visible dents, dings or other significant flaws. The toning to the brass in recessed areas nicely highlights the raised details.

Please note, pen in our photo is for size reference.

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$220.00  Add to cart