AN IMPRESSIVE RUSSIAN ICON OF THE BIRTH OF ST. JOHN THE FORERUNNER (BAPTIST), CIRCA 1890.
Here Elizabeth, the mother of John, is shown mid left reclining on a bed after having given birth. On the right, her husband Zakharias is shown writing the name of John on a scroll. At the base are two attendants. One holds the newborn John and tests the warmth of the water being poured into the basin by the other attendant. At mid center, an attendant cares for Elizabeth. Inscribed on the upper border, the birth of 'The Honorable and Glorious Prophet, and Forerunner of the Lord, John the Baptist'. The large size of this example would suggest that it was once installed in a chapel or church, perhaps in the Festival Row (Prazdniki) of an iconostasis. 41.75 inches x 20.5 inches (106.5 x 52 cm).
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