**Originally Listed at $250**
Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. 19th century CE. Expertly painted on brass sheet, an icon depicting the Mother of God, presenting the Virgin and Child in wonderful vestments of voluminous drapery with folds of fabric cascading over the holy pair and details to delineate the patterns and textures of the fabrics, as well as an integral frame and halos in repousse. The strongly modeled visages shaded with stunning sfumato to produce soft, hazy personages suggest a Western European Renaissance influence. Size: 3.25" W x 4.25" H (8.3 cm x 10.8 cm)
Given its relatively intimate scale, this icon most likely was kept in someone’s home. According to Jeanne Marie Warzeski, scholar and curator of the "Windows into Heaven" exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of History, "In the early Byzantine Empire, the home became the primary base for the development of icon veneration. Throughout the ensuing centuries, icons continued to receive honor in homes and churches. To this day, many Orthodox Christians create for prayer and meditation in their home a krasny ugol, or “beautiful corner,” where family icons are placed. Guests entering a house customarily honor the icons in the corner by crossing themselves before the objects. An oil lamp is set near the icons and is lit daily, according to Orthodox tradition."
Icons (icon means "image" in Greek) are sacred objects within the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. Found in homes as well as churches, these painted images depict holy persons and saints as well as illustrate scenes from the Scriptures. Icons are not worshiped, but are instead venerated for their ability to focus the power of an individual's prayer to God. As a focus for prayers and meditation for believers, icons serve as “windows into heaven.”
Provenance: ex-Francis and Lilly Robicsek collection, Charlotte, North Carolina USA
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