**Originally Listed At $600**
Eastern Europe, Greece, ca. 1770 to 1800 CE. In the Eastern Christian world, the Holy Face is referred to as that of the Mandylion, the portrait of Christ sent to Edessa to cure King Abgar. This image was discovered inside a wall in the year 545 and transferred to Constantinople in 944. It was then exhibited in the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople until the year 1204 when it disappeared during the Fourth Crusade. Some believe that it may correspond to the famous folded Shroud of Turin. The keramion (tile) that walled in the Mandylion during historic persecutions purportedly preserved a reverse image of this Holy Face. Three known Holy Face icons derive from the Mandylion of Constantinople: those of Novgorod, Laon (France), and Yaroslavl. Size: 14.25" L x 12.375" W (36.2 cm x 31.4 cm)
In this icon, an Archangel, either Michael or Gabriel, is holding up Veronica's veil which bears the frontal imprint of the Holy Face. The face itself - with those large brown eyes projecting mesmerizing intensity, a long nose and small closed mouth symbolizing inner strength and silence - suggests simultaneous elements of humanity and divinity that further serve as a link between death and resurrection and elevate His divine humanity. The linear folds of the Mandylion make for some perspectival depth as well as decorative contrast with His sinuous curls. By contrast, according to Western belief, the portrait of Christ is a visage miraculously left by Jesus on a veil that Veronica used to wipe his face on Calvary, and the Golden Legend tells of Emperor Tiberius' cure by this veil which Veronica brought to him in Rome. The relic which is actually referred to as "Veronica" (stemming from vera icon meaning "true image") was purportedly copied many times before it was lost.Note that on the verso of this icon is an incised signature or inscription. Unfortunately the letters are difficult to decipher, but probably identified the owner or possibly the artist.
Provenance: Ex-private Ventura County, CA collection; acquired prior to 1990
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