**Originally Listed At $600**
Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. 19th century CE. Elegantly delineated in egg tempera and gold leaf on wood, a Russian icon depicting the blessed Virgin Mary with suffering supplicants asking for her intercession as well as angels to either side. The title of this piece comes from a miracle working icon known by that same name “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” (sometimes "The Joy of All Who Suffer"), and the inscription confirms this theme. Size: 14" L x 12" W (35.6 cm x 30.5 cm)
Notice the banners with passages written on them. These texts usually refer to the Akathist to the Joy of All Who Suffer, most often from Kontakion II which translates, "Beholding the streams of wonders which pour forth from your holy icon, O most blessed Mother of God, in that you are the good helper of those who pray, the support of the oppressed, the hope of the hopeless, the consolation of those who grieve, the nourisher of the hungry, the clothing of the naked, the chastity of virgins, the guide of strangers, the assistance of those who labor, the restoration of sight to the blind, the clear hearing to the deaf, and the healing of the sick, in you we thankfully sing to God: Alleluia!"
The icon that served as inspiration for this example was first believed to create a miracle in the year 1688. A woman named Evfimiya, who was the sister of Patriarch Loachim, suffered from an incurable disease. One day as she was praying, Evfimiya heard a voice who proclaimed, “Evfimiya! Go to the Church of the Transfiguration of my son. There is the image called “Joy of All Who Suffer.” The church was in Moscow where Evfimiy lived. She listened and followed the instructions of the mysterious voice and soon was cured.
Icons were some of the first religious artworks brought to Russia from Byzantium. These sacred pictures of the Greek Orthodox church reached a high point in the Byzantine era, however, the Russians brought their own style to the art of the icon. Icons were initially created for use in churches and processions. In time they became smaller and were used increasingly within households. To this day they remain an important form of visual culture in Russia's orthodox religious community.
Provenance: private E. G. collection, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
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