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Kazan Mother of God

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Kazan Mother of God

Made by: Sikachev, Vasilii Sergeevich __ __Oklad ||Unknown __ __Icon

On view in: Russian Sacred Arts Gallery

About this object

The Mother of God is shown bust length, her head inclined slightly towards the Christ Child standing before her. The child looks directly out at the viewer. His right hand is raised in blessing, his left concealed by his himation. The contours of the golden brown faces are carefully modelled, while the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth are painted with fine lines and white highlights. Slight creases furrow the temples and the neck of the Mother of God. An ornate silver gilt oklad stamped with a dense foliate pattern covers all but the faces and Christ's right hand. The same pattern is repeated on the venets surrounding the Mother of God's head and a border of trefoils within palmettes joins the outer edge of her venets to Christ's. Her maphorion (robe) and chiton (tunic), as well as the Christ Child's chiton, are covered by an ornate oklad in silver filigree with areas of granular decoration. The filigree icon has been lined with silver foil that has oxidized to coppery red and black tones. (It is sewn to the oklad with a light-colored thread.) Eight-armed stars comprising a green, faceted paste stone surrounded by transparent pastes are placed on her forehead and proper right shoulder. The back of the icon is set with two flat, very slightly tapered transverse shponki. The icon itself appears to have been painted on a pine board, while the shponki are made from wood with a dense, wavy grain.

Object name:
Kazan Mother of God
Made from:
Tempera on wood -- silver -- silver foil -- pastes -- thread
Made in:
RUSSIA: Moscow
Date made:
overall __11.50 IN __10.56 IN __1.50 IN
overall __29.21 CM __26.83 CM __3.81 CM

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
INSCRIPTION __MP FU __Greek initials in upper left and right corners of oklad. __Trans: (abbreviated) Mother of God ||inscription __[Cyrillic] KAZANSKAIA __On oklad, under lower, PR edge of her halo. __Trans: Adjectival form of Kazan, indicates that this is the Kazan Mother of God. ||inscription __[Greek] O H __On Christ Child's venets (halo) __The initial letter (HO) of the typical inscription (HO OH, I am that I am) has been cut off. ||scratch mark __[Cyrillic script?] Ap 62 3/4 Se 55 1/2 __Scratched onto metal folded over upper edge of icon. __It appears to be a measurement, but the translation is unclear. Arshin and vershki are too large to match the dimensions of the icon. ||inscription __[Cyrillic script?] obinach [?] __In pencil on the wood, right edge of icon __Might also read 'odinach' or 'odinaia.' Inscription is difficult to make out. ||maker's mark __[Cyrillic initials] VS __In rectangle stamped on lower edge of oklad. __Mark of Vasilii Sergeevich Sikachev, Postnikova-Loseva (1995) #2345. ||assayer's mark with date __[Cyrillic initials] AP 1888 __In rectangle, stamped on underside of icon. __Postnikova-Loseva (1995) identifies this as the mark of assayer A. Romanov, active in Moscow 1886-1894, then transferred to Riga. Ivanov (2002) does not cite Romanov's presence on any assaying staff until 1895. ||silver standard __84 __In square, stamped on underside of oklad. ||City symbol __[St. George on horseback, facing left] __In circle, stamped on underside of oklad. __City mark in use in the 1880s. See Postnikova-Loseva (1995), nos. 2018 and 2019. ||maker's mark __[Cyrillic initials] VS __In rectangle, stamped on verso base of filigree oklad. __Mark of Vasilii Sergeevich Sikachev, Postnikova-Loseva (1995) #2345. ||composite mark __84 [St. George facing left] [Cyr. initials] AR 1888 __In lozenge, stamped on verso base of filigree oklad. __Includes the silver standard mark, the city mark of Moscow in use in the 1880s, the mark of assayer A. Romanov, and the date 1888. Postnikova-Loseva (1995) identifies these initials as belonging to the Moscow assayer A. Romanov, but he does not appear in Ivanov (2002). ||inscription __N2836 __In black crayon, upper right verso of icon. __Presumably an inventory number. ||inscription __M8 1273 Rosso __In pencil on white paper taped to UR verso of icon. __Rosso inventory number? ||inscription __X __In pencil on upper verso of icon. __A circle or circular mark is below this. ||inscription __X __Large mark in black crayon in center verso of icon ||inscription __[Cyrillic script] Oplechie [oklady?] serebriannie pravalie, vy [vo?]leol 60 zol, odezhda filigran., vyzol. 60 zol NB[?] __In pencil, center section of icon verso. __The inscription is in post-1918 orthography and is obscured in places. It appears to be an inventory description of the oklad, noting that different sections of the oklad (framing areas and clothing) were gilded or filigree and confirming or estimating the silver standard. [60 zolotniks does not match the number 84 stamped by assayers, so this may be incorrect.] The final two letters 'NB' are large and presumably are the signature of whoever wrote the description.
Credit line:
Gift of Madame Augusto Rosso, 1968