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Made by: Iakov Frolov

On view in: Icon Room

About this object

In this very Baroque icon of the Annunciation, the Mother of God kneels in prayer in her bedroom, her prayerbook open on a small table before her, her red-and-green canopied bed in the background, and a vase of red flowers on the flagged floor. Her arms are crossed over her breast and she listens with downcast eyes and a rapt expression to the words of the Archangel Gabriel who has just appeared before her. Wings outspread and draperies fluttering, a palm frond held in his left hand, he flourishes his right hand above Her head. In the upper center, enthroned in a golden, cloud-ringed mandorla with cherubim, God is seen dispatching Gabriel on his mission. A single ray of light extends from the face of God to the dove of the Holy Ghost beneath, where it is refracted out over the head of the Mother of God. Over her green-yellow gown she wears a red and gold brocade maphorion and a short white veil covering her head. Gabriel's long tunic is also green-yellow with a short red and yellow tunic belted loosely above the waist. The draperies are painted with broad, fluid strokes, the highlights being of powdered gold. Their faces are broad and blunt featured, with protuberant eyes, thin mouths and fleshy noses, modelled in a feather-hatching of white on a greenish ground. A window in the center opens onto a vista of hills, while two more mullioned windows on the wall behind Gabriel are rendered in inverse perspective. A gilded silver oklad with lush repousse ornament covers the entire icon, leaving only the figures visible. The center of the oklad corresponds in every detail to the painted kovcheg beneath, while the polia is adorned with a border of elaborate columns with swags of leaves and flowers, culminating at each upper corner in cartouches. The inscription "Annunction to the Most Blessed Mother of God" is chased in a cartouche at center top. A small venets with crimped sunburst border surrounds Gabriel's head, while that of the Mother of God is lost.

Object name:
Made from:
Tempera on wood with gilding and silver gilt
Made in:
Moscow, Russia
Date made:
33.7 x 27.9 cm (13 1/4 x 11 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
INSCRIPTION; MARK; LABEL ICON: on recto: BLAGOVESHCHENIE PRE BDTSY ["Annunciation to the Most Holy Mother of God"] (on upper polia); GAVRIIL ARKHANGEL ["Archangel Gabriel" (above his head); DKH SVTY ["Holy Spirit"] (above the dove); SEMU OBRAZU MOLITSIA GRIGORII IVANOV VLADYCHEN ["To this image Grigorii Ivanovich Vladychen prays"] (beneath the Mother of God); on verso: Icona a olio con cornice, senza vetro, ornamento in presunto argento dorato, rappresentante Maria e arcangelo Gabriele [segnato al n.98 camera blindata]) (typed on label); 636 (engraved on brass plaque) OKLAD: on bottom edge 1) A.O P (in heart shape) for unknown alderman 1775-1802 (P-L #2136), 2) Ia F (in square) for master Ia. Frolov 1766-1799 (P-L #3003), 3) St. George and the Dragon for Moscow, 4) 1781 C.[B?] (in square-the B is missing) for tester Stepan Belkin 1778-88 (P-L #2091); GD' SAVAOF ["God Savaoth"]; A G ["Archangel Gabriel"]; BLAGOVESHCHENIE PRE ? BDTSY ["The Annunciation to the Most Blessed Mother of God"] (in ornate script in cartouche at upper center)
Credit line:
Gift of Madame Augusto Rosso, 1968
Featured in publication:
"Russian Icons at Hillwood","Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs"