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Protection of the Mother of God

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Protection of the Mother of God

Made by: Unknown

Currently in storage

About this object

The full-length figure of the Mother of God floats in mid-air before the exterior of the five-domed Church of the Blachernae in Constantinople, holding out her stole protectively over the heads of the assembly of worshippers in the foreground. Two winged angels hover at either side, holding a second stole in an arc about her head. She is turned toward the upper left, where the figure of God looks down from a cloud bank, an unfurled scroll in one hand, his right hand raised in blessing. The worshippers are arranged in two tiers. The bottom, earthly sphere is centered around the deacon Romanus of the Sweet Voice, author of a famous cycle of hymns extolling the Mother of God. He stands directly beneath Her on a circular pulpit holding a censor and an unfurled scroll. To his right are an Emperor, Empress and three unidentified saints, to his left two bishop saints and St. Andrew the Holy Fool who directs the attention of Epiphanius to the vision of the Mother of God above them. In the second, celestial tier selected saints, with St. Peter and St. John the Forerunner at the center, look toward the Mother of God, their hands raised in prayer. The icon is painted in bright red, green and yellow, with white highlights on the faces and hands. The ground was originally gold and the ochre polia has a double filenka of green and brown. The Mother of God's maphorion and her stole are covered by a plain repousse silver riza. A simple beaded vinets surrounds both her head and that of Romanus, his being attached to the riza above. A more elaborate vinets is attached to the head of God. All the other halos are painted with a double red and white border. Painted inscriptions in the top and right polia read "Image of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God" and "?" The face of the icon has a carved luzga and ?.

Object name:
Protection of the Mother of God
Made from:
Tempera on wood -- silver
Made in:
Date made:
19th c.
overall __11.81 IN __10.62 IN
overall __30.00 CM __26.99 CM

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
INSCRIPTION; LABEL __on recto: OBRAZ PRET BTSY POKROVA; ? on verso: "Loan . . ." (on label under wax); 90832.2 (in white ink)
Credit line:
Gift of George Bunker, 1969
Featured in publication:
"Russian Icons at Hillwood"