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On view in: Russian Sacred Arts Gallery

About this object

The Mother of God is depicted half-length and slightly turned towards the Christ Child seated on Her left arm. He clasps her right hand between both of his hands (her thumb in his right hand, her two littlest fingers in his left in the gesture associated with making a guarantee.) All but their faces, hands, and Christ's feet are covered by a gold repousse oklad. Each wears a split crown set with small cabochon emeralds ringed with emeralds and a sunburst venets, the jagged points of which are set with nine emeralds of gradated size. Tiny rows of diamonds decorate the cuff and neckline of the Mother of God's underrobe. A semicircle of twelve stars set with diamonds follows the contour of the ventsy. An inscription reading "I am the guarantor for sinners before My Son / He granted me the commision to hear me at all times / That they who bring their joy to me always / Through me ask for eternal Joy" is written on four banderoles curved into the four corners. The ground of the oklad is plain gold with a simple border of embossed clover leaves set with seventeen evenly spaced fine pearls. An inscription engraved on a brass plaque on the verso reads: "To his Imperial Highness the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Aleksei Nikolaevich with the blessings of the Convent of St. John (First Class) in St. Petersburg as a token of incessant memory in our prayers 22 August 1912."

Object name:
Made from:
Tempera on wood with gold -- pearls -- diamonds and emeralds
Made in:
Date made:
12.7 × 9.7 cm (5 × 3 13/16 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
PLAQUE "AZ' SPORUCHNITSA GRESHNYKH SYNY MOEMU / SEI DAL MNE ZA NIKH RUTSI SLYSHANIIA USTA / IZHE RADOST' VYNU MNE PRINOSIAT RADOVANIE VECHNO CHEREZ MENIA ISPROSIAT" OKLAD: (on the four banderoles) MARK crown (national control mark -- Finland) on top edge MARK Boat stamp for Helsinki on top edge MARK RM (in a square) for Roland Mellin on top edge MARK 18 K (in a square) on top edge MARK Q2 (in a square) for 1849 on top edge MARK owl (in an oval) French Import mark on top edge PLAQUE "EGO IMPERATORSKOMU VYSOCHESTVU NASLEDNIKU TSAREVICHU VELIKOMU KNIAZIU ALEKSIIU NIKOLAEVICHY BLAGOSLOVENIE S.P.B PERVOKLASSNAGO IOANNOVSKAGO ZHENSKAGO MONASTYRIA V ZNAK NEPRESTANNOI MOLITVENNOI PAMIATI 22 AVGUSTA 1912 G." copperplate inscription on brass plaque nailed to verso
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Featured in publication:
"Russian Icons at Hillwood","Treasures Into Tractors: The Selling of Russia's Cultural Heritage, 1918-1938","Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs","What Became of Peter's Dream?: Court Culture in the Reign of Nicholas II"