A Fine Russian School Oil & Tempera Gilt Eleusa Icon Panel of The Madonna & Child

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Origin: Russian
Period: Early Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1810
Height: 12 inches
Width: 8.5 inches
Depth: 1 inch


Traditionally painted in sombre colours, this example of The Madonna & Child is based upon an icon in the classic pose known as the eleusa or "compassionate one" and emphasises the tender and trusting relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. There are symbols above the figures and a hole bored to the top, for mounting purposes.

Of considerable thickness, and once double-hinged verso, this icon must have at some stage been a door, perhaps hiding and protecting important artifacts or possessions. The condition is still satisfactory, though there are areas of loss to the center top.

Similar in appearance to the Virgin of Valdimir first written in Constantinople and later transferred to Russia and known as the Virgin of Vladimir, this icon is noted for the Virgin’s immediate contact with the viewer rather than her Son, admonishing us to look toward Him who is “The Way, the Life and the Truth.” Christ, she says, is truly redeemer and savior of the world.

Very similar to 16th century examples in style and execution, we think this icon later; it still however, typifies a sacred possession, and superb work of art, for many today.

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