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Lot 0724
**Originally Listed At $1200**

Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. 19th century CE. A beautiful example of the Virgin of the Kiss - Mother of God icon, the finely painted Virgin and Child set beneath a beautiful brass oklad, their vestments and environs further embellished with multi-colored pearls, glass beads, and stones. The Virgin of the Sweet Kiss is a subject that derives from an original purportedly painted by Saint Luke at Ephesus, and believed to be the first icon depicting the Virgin Mary that Prince Vladimir brought to Kiev in 988 CE. Surrounding the Mother and Child are five smaller figures, each representing a saint, one of whom is also decorated with beads. A panel below the main part of the icon describes it in Old Church Slavonic. Size: 10.5" W x 12" H (26.7 cm x 30.5 cm).

Characteristic of a Mother of God icon, this piece focuses on the faces of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, Their pristine oval faces juxtaposed closely as the Child presses His cheek against His Mother’s, the Virgin’s protective, maternal gaze revealing a bittersweet awareness of Her son’s fate, returned by Jesus’ sweet, trusting innocence.

The icon is fitted with a stunning brass oklad adding a three-dimensional quality to the image - the golden haloes in repousse detailed with lace-like borders, their cloaks and surrounding areas intricately embellished with glass beads and stones. The margin of the frame is further adorned in chaise and repousse with finely executed floral elements and textured 'beadlike' trim.

The oklad or riza, sometimes referred to as a revetment in English, is a metal cover that not only protects the icon, but also serves to honor or venerate the figure(s) depicted on the icon. Oklads are usually adorned with repousse work and pierced to reveal elements of the underlying painting.

Provenance: ex Francis & Lilly Robicsek collection, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

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Oklad has a dark patina with some bending to edges. Wood on back and edges has very small areas of inactive insect damage. The beads etc. have some losses and have a dark patina from age and handling. Painted image shows nice craquelure. Some losses to beaded overlay as shown. Back slats are missing.

Starting Bid


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19th C. Russia Icon Virgin of Kiss, Brass, Beaded Oklad

Estimate $1,700 - $2,550
$6000 bids
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Louisville, CO, USA