Exceptional Russian Wedding Icons, 1st Artel
AN EXCEPTIONAL MATCHING PAIR OF RUSSIAN WEDDING ICONS, 1st ARTEL, MOSCOW. Comprising an icon of the Kazan mother of God and Christ. Both icons finely and naturalistically painted and overlaid with exceptionally crafted gilded silver riza with silver filigree overlaying the garments and with shaded enamel haloes and borders and champlevé enamel titles and text. Each hallmarked Moscow, circa 1908-1917 and with the makers mark of the 1st Artel as well as 84 silver standard. 9 inches x 7.2 inches (22 x 18 cm).
Here Christ is depicted in the standard composition known as the Lord Almighty (Gospod Vsederzhitel) or often by its Greek name Pantocrator. The title is derived from the Book of Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega says the Lord, Who Is, Who Was, and Who Is To Come, the Almighty". Christ delivers a blessing and holds the open book of Gospels to John 13:34 "A New Commandment I give unto you, that ye also love one another". This is the text most often found on the groom's wedding icon that he will carry with him to the altar on the day of his marriage, and the groom is to give selflessly of himself to his wife as Christ laid down his life for humanity. The bride, on the other hand, choses, and carries, an image of Mary, the Mother of God, and pledges to emulate her, particularly in her obedience to the will of God the Father. After the wedding ceremony the icons stay in the church for a period of days and then are brought home and placed in the newlyweds beautiful corner (Krasny ugol) where they will be joined by icons depicting the name saints of their children.