1 Russian Icon, with footnotes #5

Lady Achtyrskaja (of Akhtyrka), Veneto-Cretan, 17th century
Hardwood single panel, back tiling
Tempera on chalk ground, background gilded
29.5 x 25.5 cm
Private collection

Nimbus hallmarked ornamental. Image-filling representation of the seated Virgin in three-quarter figure,  holding the crucifix with the crucified Christ in her hands. About her green tunic she wears the red maphorion which is contoured by white and black shades.  a western-style transparent head-cover complimented by the traditional maphorion. The halo is finely tooled.Okhtyrka, also known by its Russian variant Akhtyrka, is a small city in Ukraine, a town of Hussar and Cossack Fame. It was also once a regional seat of Sloboda Ukraine and the Ukrainian SSR. It is home to historical and religious places of interest. More on Okhtyrka,

In the town of Akhtyrka, there had long been a parish dedicated to the Protection of the Most-pure Theotokos (The Virgin Mary). In 1739, Fr. Daniel Vasiliev was serving at that church. Once, as he was mowing the grass in his garden he saw an icon of the Mother of God praying before the crucified Lord Jesus Christ, and shining with an indescribable light. In awe, Fr. Daniel carried it into his house. Three years later, while dozing, he dreamt of the Mother of God, and heard her direct that he wash the icon with clean water, and then drape a cover over the icon. The priest did as he was told, intending to later pour the water into the river, he put the water into a container. He again fell asleep, whereby the Most-holy Theotokos said to him: “Keep this water; it will heal all those who suffer from the fever.” The priest had a daughter who suffered with fever. Awaking, he gave her some of the water to drink, and she immediately was healed. 

Thereafter, all those who suffered with fever would run to the Most-holy Theotokos, and as soon as they drank of the water from her icon, would be healed. Recognizing the miraculous signs coming from the icon, the priest took it to his parish church. There the icon shone forth with the power of working miracles. 

One noteworthy miracle was to Elizabeth, the ill wife of General Vedel, who came and fervently prayed before the icon that she might be healed. The next night she saw the Mother of God in a dream, and heard her direction: “You ask in vain for healing from illness. You do not need that. You will soon depart from life. Give all of your possessions to the churches and to the poor. That sacrifice will be for the good of your soul.” The ill one answered, “O Mother of God, I have children, and if I give away my estate, my children will be left in extreme poverty and need.” In response, the Mother of God said, “Do not be concerned for your children. I will be their eternal protectress.” Then, the Mother of God became invisible. Elizabeth, five days later, as told to her by the Mother of God, peacefully reposed. Empress Catherine II, learning of the miraculous protection promised to the children of the late Mrs. Vedel, took her two daughters into her care, and later gave them in marriage, one to Count Palen, the other to Count Chernishev. This miraculous icon used to be in the cathedral church of the town of Akhtyrka, Kharkov province. More on this Icon

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A. Vassilieff, POKROFF ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD; 1 Russian Icon, with footnotes #10

Goldsmithing Punch: A. Vassilieff, active from 1858 to 1863.
POKROFF ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD, c. before 1896

Tempera on wood, preserved under riza in vermeil, with
white enameled plates .
H.: 31 cm – L.: 27 cm.
Private collection

The Dormition of the Mother of God is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the “falling asleep” or death of Mary the Theotokos (“Mother of God”, literally translated as God-bearer), and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. More on POKROFF ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD

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Cretan School; Mother of Consolation Veneto-Cretan and Saint Monica 1 Russian Icon, with footnotes, #4

Cretan School
Artist Unknown, Cretan School
Mother of Consolation Veneto-Cretan and Saint Monica, 17th century
Wooden, single panel, Tempera on chalk ground
Gilded background
Embossed haloes
16.5 x 23 cm
Private collection

Image-filling representation of the half-length Mother of God; depicted half-length wearing a blue tunic and a brown maphorion.. She holds the Christ Child in her left arm. He has raised his right hand in blessing and holds with his left the globe. His himation is decorated with a gold-Chrysographie. Next to them, the Saint Catherine appears.

The earliest story tells of Saint Monica in the fourth century, distraught with grief and anxiety for her wayward son, Augustine, confiding her distress to the Mother of God, who appeared to her dressed in mourning clothes, but wearing a shining cincture around her waist. As a pledge of her support and compassion, Our Lady removed the cincture and, giving it to Monica, directed her to wear it and to encourage others to do the same. Monica gave it to her son, who in turn gave it to his community, and so the Augustinian devotion to the wearing of a cincture as a token of fidelity to our Mother of Consolation came into being.

The tradition of praying to the Mother of God for the gift of consolation dates back to the early centuries. The first written evidence of prayer to the Mother of God, Mary, the Theotokos (“Birth-Giver of God” ), is written in Greek on a scrap of Egyptian papyrus dating from between 300-540. In that prayer, she is invoked as the compassionate one More

Saint Monica (AD 331 – 387), also known as Monica of Hippo, was an early Christian saint and the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. She is remembered and honored in most Christian denominations for her outstanding Christian virtues, particularly the suffering caused by her husband’s adultery, and her prayerful life dedicated to the reformation of her son, who wrote extensively of her pious acts and life with her in his Confessions. Popular Christian legends recall Saint Monica weeping every night for her son Augustine.

Cretan School describes an important school of icon painting, which flourished while Crete was under Venetian rule during the late Middle Ages, reaching its climax after the Fall of Constantinople, becoming the central force in Greek painting during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The Cretan artists developed a particular style of painting under the influence of both Eastern and Western artistic traditions and movements; the most famous product of the school, El Greco, was the most successful of the many artists who tried to build a career in Western Europe, and also the one who left the Byzantine style farthest behind him in his later career. More on the Cretan School

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St. Pachomius the Great, St. Alexander Nevsky, St. Dimitry Uglicheski and St. Mary Magdalene 1 Russian Icon, with footnotes, #3

Russian Silvered Metal-Mounted Icon of St. Pachomius the Great, St. Alexander Nevsky, St. Dimitry Uglicheski and St. Mary Magdalene (1)
Unknown artist
St. Pachomius the Great, St. Alexander Nevsky, St. Dimitry Uglicheski and St. Mary Magdalene
Russian Silvered Metal-Mounted Icon
Height 15 5/8 inches (39.7 cm.), width 13 7/8 inches (35.2 cm.).
Private collection

The four saints depicted standing beneath the ascended Christ

Pachomius (c. 292 – 9 May 348 A.D.), also known as Pachome and Pakhomios, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism. Coptic churches celebrate his feast day on 9 May, and Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches mark his feast on 15 May or 28 May. In the Lutheran Church, he is remembered as a renewer of the church, along with his contemporary (and fellow desert saint), Anthony of Egypt on January 17. More on Pachomius

Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky (13 May 1221 – 14 November 1263) served as Prince of Novgorod (1236–40 and 1240–56 and 1258-1259), Grand Prince of Kiev (1236–52) and Grand Prince of Vladimir (1252–63) during some of the most difficult times in Kievan Rus’ history.

Nevsky rose to legendary status on account of his military victories over German and Swedish invaders while agreeing to pay tribute to the powerful Golden Horde. He was canonized as a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church by Metropolite Macarius in 1547. More on Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky

St. Dimitry Uglicheski (Unknown)

Mary Magdalene,  literally translated as Mary the Magdalene or Mary of Magdala, is a figure in Christianity who, according to the Bible, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is said to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Within the four Gospels she is named more than most of the apostles. Based on texts of the early Christian era in the third century, it seems that her status as an “apostle” rivals even Peter’s.

The Gospel of Luke says seven demons had gone out of her. She is most prominent in the narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present. She was also present two days later when, she was, either alone or as a member of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection of Jesus. John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically name her as the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection.

During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene was regarded in Western Christianity as a repentant prostitute or promiscuous woman, claims not found in any of the four canonical gospels. More Mary Magdalene

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01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART – Today is Prophet Zephaniah’s day, With Footnotes – 130

Prophet Zephaniah, old Russian Orthodox icon
First quarter of XVIII century
Iconostasis of Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia

Zephaniah is the name of several people in the Hebrew Bible and Jewish Tanakh. His name is commonly transliterated Sophonias in Bibles translated from the Latin Vulgate or Septuagint. 

The most well-known Biblical figure bearing the name Zephaniah is the son of Cushi, and great, great grandson of King Hezekiah, ninth in the literary order of the minor prophets. He prophesied in the days of Josiah, king of Judah (B.C. 641-610). The only primary source from which we obtain our scanty knowledge of the personality and the rhetorical and literary qualities of this individual is the short book of the Old Testament which bears his name. The scene of his activity was the city of Jerusalem.

The cults of Baal and Astarte had developed in the Holy City, bringing with it elements of alien culture and morals. Josiah, a dedicated reformer, wished to put an end to perceived misuse of the holy places. One of the most zealous champions and advisers of this reform was Zephaniah, and his writing remains one of the most important documents for the understanding of the era of Josiah.

The prophet spoke boldly against the religious and moral corruption. He warned that God would “destroy out of this place the remnant of Baal, and pleaded for a return to the simplicity of their fathers. More Zephaniah

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08 Russian Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, #12

18th C. Russian Icon

Christ Emmanuel

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood

10.25″ W x 12.25″ H (26 cm x 31.1 cm)

Private collection

The text beneath may refer to a passage of Isaiah that Christ read in the synagogue of Nazareth, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the afflicted”.

The prophet Isaiah coined the term Emmanuel which means God is with us, and this icon captures that sense of immediate presence. According to Alfredo Tradigo, “We see not a child before us, but the mysterious, unknowable face of God, who is eternally young and old at once, as emphasized by the Church Fathers. The figure’s young age stands not for the Child but, rather, for the incorruptible, timeless youth of the sacrificial Lamb, daily renewed on the altar in the bloodless sacrifice of the Eucharist. Tradigo continues to explain that the placement of an Emmanuel icon at the Cathedral of the Dormition in Moscow, in a Deesis over the northern doors of the iconostasis that lead to the prosthesis (the special room where these holy gifts are prepared) attests to this interpretation. The smooth-faced Christ Emmanuel is traditionally inserted in an angelic Deesis between Gabriel and Michael the holy archangels who protect the Divine Liturgy). In some cases a grand ensemble of angels forms an assembly around Emmanuel. More on this Icon

18th C. Russian Icon

St. John the Evangelist

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood

12.75″ W x 16″ H (32.4 cm x 40.6 cm)

Private collection

Images of the evangelists derived from miniatures of illuminated Gospel books and Gospel lectionaries showing them at work in their scriptoria (a room in medieval European monasteries devoted to the writing, copying and illuminating of manuscripts by monastic scribes). These portrayals were oftentimes painted on the outside of the royal doors. John’s symbol is the eagle, chosen for the sublime manner in which he described the godliness of the Word.

Also known as John the Theologian for his ability to channel divine wisdom, Saint John wrote the fourth Gospel (the Book of Revelation), while living in a cave on the isle of Patmos, exiled by Emperor Trajan. There he dictated a dramatic vision of the Apocalypse to the deacon Prochorus, his disciple and steadfast companion. John also wrote the Gospel of Love, in addition to three of the Catholic Epistles. In the words of Patriarch Athenagoras, John is the source of our loftiest spirituality. Like him, those who are silent know the mysterious confusion that can assail the heart; invoking the presence of John, their hearts catch fire. More on this Icon

19th C. Russian Icon

Chosen Saints

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood

14.25″ W x 17.75″ H (36.2 cm x 45.1 cm)

Private collection

An icon presenting an ensemble of blessed saints, including Catherine , Natalya, Ann the Prophetess, Ljubov (Love, more commonly interpreted as Charity), John, and Alexander standing in two rows. The seventh saint is most likely John the Evangelist. Each saint is identified with a gold on blue banner, all beneath Saint Anne in the celestial realm aloft billowing clouds donning red and blue robes. More on this Icon

Saint Catherine of Alexandria is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of fourteen, and converted hundreds of people to Christianity. More on Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Saint Natalia‘s hagiography is closely tied to the life of her husband, Saint Adrian. Adrian was struck by divine grace and told the Roman officials to write his own name with the rest of the martyrs. When his wife Natalia heard that he had been imprisoned with the martyrs, she ran with joy to the gaol and lauded his resolve while embracing his chains. She imploring the other martyrs to pray to God.

When Adrian appeared before the emperor and confessed Christ, he was tutored, and killed, with the other martyrs. Their hands and feet were then cut off.  Natalie managed to steal one of her husband’s severed hands from the pile. The fire that was supposed to burn the relics was miraculously put out by a sudden shower of rain, and a Christian named Eusebius was able to retrieve the relics and transport them for burial to Argyroupolis, a town near Byzantium. Some time later, Natalia visited the tomb where she gave up her soul to God and was herself subsequently buried. More on Saint Natalia

Anna the Prophetess is a woman mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. According to that Gospel, she was an elderly Jewish woman who prophesied about Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem. She appears in Luke, during the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. More on Anna the Prophetess

Saint Ljubov, Saints Faith, Hope and Charity are a group of Christian martyred saints.  In the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian (2nd century AD), a matron Sophia (Wisdom), with her three youthful daughters, Pistis, Elpis, and Agape (Greek for Faith, Hope and Charity), became martyrs.

The guards took Sophia’s daughters one by one, from the oldest to the youngest and beat and tortured them to death in an attempt to force her to renounce her faith in Christ. She proved her unconditional faith in Christ by proving to people that she and her daughters were willing to go through hard times for their faith. Afterwards, Sophia buried her daughters’ bodies and remained by their graves for three days until she died herself. More on Saint Ljubov and Saint Sofia

Saint John the Apostle, also called Saint John the Evangelist or Saint John the Divine (flourished 1st century ce), in Christian tradition, the author of three letters, the Fourth Gospel, and the Revelation to John in the New Testament. He played a leading role in the early church at Jerusalem. More on Saint John

Saint Anne (also known as Ann or Anna) of David’s house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ, according to apocryphal Christian and Islamic tradition. More on Saint Anne

19th C. Russian Icon

St. Alexander Svirsky

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood

3.25″ W x 4.25″ H (8.3 cm x 10.8 cm)

Private collection

St. Alexander Svirsky spent much of time of his life as a monk, including some period of total isolation from society.

In 1506, Serapion, Archbishop of Novgorod, appointed him Hegumen of the Trinity monastery, which later became known as Alexander-Svirsky Monastery, at the place of the saint’s eremitic life between Roschinsky and Holy lakes. A rendition of the the appearance of the Holy Trinity ot St. Alexander Svirsky. 

The Trinity appeared to St. Alexander in 1508, twenty-three years after he came to this secluded location. One night when he was praying in his cabin, a radiant light shone brightly, and the three haloed angels in billowing white robes approached him. Taken aback by this event, the monk fell down with fright. Once he came to again, he prostrated himself on the ground out of respect. The angels took him by the hand, said, “Have trust, blessed one, and fear not”, and asked him to build a church and a monastery. More on St. Alexander Svirsky

Eastern Europe, Russia, ca. 1760 to 1780 CE

Virgin of the Burning Bush

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood

14.125″ L x 12.125″ W (35.9 cm x 30.8 cm)

Private collection

 

The subject of Our Lady of the Burning Bush is based on the Old Testament prophecy of the incarnation of Christ. Such theologians as St Gregory of Nyssa and Theodoret of Cyrrhus regarded Moses’s vision of the burning bush as a symbol and prototype of the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception.

The iconography of the scene was inspired by the Russian Orthodox hymns comparing the Virgin to the burning bush seen by Moses – engulfed in flames, yet not burning (Exodus 2:1–6). Icons of the subject were popular from the sixteenth century onwards and were believed to offer protection from fire. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the festival of the icon on 4/17 September, which is also the day of Moses. More on Our Lady of the Burning Bush

19th C. Oval Russian Icon

Theotokos of Unburnt Bush

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood

6.625″ W x 9.5″ H (16.8 cm x 24.1 cm)

Private collection

This icon depicts the burning bush symbolically with two overlapping diamonds – the blue diamond/rhombus representing the bush, the red diamond/rhombus representing the fiery flames that do not burn it. Within the red points are the symbols of the four evangelists: lion, ox, eagle, and man; within the blue points are angels of the Apocalypse. The corners feature visions of Moses, Isaiah, Ezekial, and Jacob – prophesies concerning the Mother of God: the burning bush of Moses, the seraph who purifies Moses’ lips, the closed door of the Temple in Ezekiel (symbolizing Mary’s virginity), and Jacob’s Ladder. At the center of it all is the Theotokos Mother of God. Old Cyrillic passages are written in the borders and beside various elements to identify holy figures and narrate various episodes. More on this Icon

19th C. Russian Icon

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood

4.375″ W x 5.375″ H (11.1 cm x 13.7 cm)

Private collection

St. Seraphim of Sarov blesses himself before his icon of the Mother of God hanging in the tree above. At his feet are a hat, bread sack, gloves, and axe. The strongly modeled visage as well as the perspectival background suggest that the painter was very much influenced by Western art. The borders are meticulously incised and painted to simulate enamel. More on this Icon

Saint Seraphim of Sarov (1 August 1754 (or 1759) – 14 January 1833), born Prokhor Moshnin, is one of the most renowned Russian saints in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is generally considered the greatest of the 19th-century (elders. Seraphim extended the monastic teachings of contemplation, theoria and self-denial to the layperson. He taught that the purpose of the Christian life was to acquire the Holy Spirit. Perhaps his most popular quotation amongst Orthodox believers is “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.”

Seraphim was glorified (canonized) by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1903. Pope John Paul II referred to him as a saint. More on St. Seraphim of Sarov

Eastern Europe, Russia, 19th century CE. Icon

St. John the Baptist & Head

Egg tempera and gold leaf on wood

17.5″ W x 43.75″ H (44.4 cm x 111.1 cm)

Private collection

A winged St. John the Baptist holding a scroll as well as his severed head on a platter, with God the Father above. The wings occupy a large part of the composition and bestow John the Baptist’s body with an otherworldly, celestial dimension. The artist painstakingly delineated the feathered wings in various neutral earthtones with black and white highlights, creating a rich sense of depth. This attention to detail is also visible on this camel-hair tunic and blue-green himation. The white strokes dramatically highlighting these vestments symbolize the spiritual energy of divine light. On the scroll are the words, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” and “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (John 1:29, Matthew 3:2). A large golden halo encircles his visage cascading past his beard and shoulders. More on this icon

John the Baptist (sometimes called John in the Wilderness; also referred to as the Angel of the Desert) was the subject of at least eight paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610).

The story of John the Baptist is told in the Gospels. John was the cousin of Jesus, and his calling was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. He lived in the wilderness of Judea between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, “his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.” He baptised Jesus in the Jordan.

According to the Bible, King Herod’s daughter Salome requested Saint John the Baptist’s beheading. She was prompted by her mother, Herodias, who sought revenge, because the prophet had condemned her incestuous marriage to HerodMore John the Baptist

The Eastern Orthodox Church subscribes to a belief in the intercession of saints. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition every individual is named in honor of a specific saint when baptized, and this saint is regarded as a patron for the person’s entire life. In addition, there are patron saints of activities and occupations, ailments and dangers, as well as locales.

Acknowledgement: Artemis Gallery, and others
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10 Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, #16

Italian School, 19th century, in the manner of a Trecento work

THE MADONNA AND CHILD

Oil and gold ground on poplar panel

47.2 x 29.6 cm.; 18 5/8  x 11 5/8  in.

Private collection

The Trecento refers to the 14th century in Italian cultural history. Commonly the Trecento is considered to be the beginning of the Renaissance in art history. Painters of the Trecento included Giotto di Bondone, as well as painters of the Sienese School, which became the most important in Italy during the century, including Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, Lippo Memmi, Ambrogio Lorenzetti and his brother Pietro. Important sculptors included two pupils of Giovanni Pisano: Arnolfo di Cambio and Tino di Camaino, and Bonino da Campione. More on Trecento

Italian School, probably Marchigian, circa 1400

THE MADONNA AND CHILD

Tempera and gold ground on poplar panel in an engaged frame

50.5 x 33 cm.; 19 7/8  x 13 in.

Private collection

Italian School, 14th century

THE CRUCIFIXION WITH THE VIRGIN, MARY MAGDALENE AND SAINT JOHN

Tempera and gold ground on poplar panel

86 x 52.4 cm.; 33 7/8  x 20 5/8  in.

Private collection

Mary Magdalene,  literally translated as Mary the Magdalene or Mary of Magdala, is a figure in Christianity who, according to the Bible, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is said to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Within the four Gospels she is named more than most of the apostles. Based on texts of the early Christian era in the third century, it seems that her status as an “apostle” rivals even Peter’s.

The Gospel of Luke says seven demons had gone out of her. She is most prominent in the narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present. She was also present two days later when, she was, either alone or as a member of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection of Jesus. John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically name her as the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection.

During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene was regarded in Western Christianity as a repentant prostitute or promiscuous woman, claims not found in any of the four canonical gospels. More Mary Magdalene

John the Apostle ( c. AD 6 – c. 106) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. Christian tradition holds that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one not to die a martyr’s death (excluding Judas Iscariot who died by suicide). The Church Fathers considered him the same person as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, although modern theologians and scholars have not formed a consensus on the relative identities of these men. The tradition of most Christian denominations holds that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament. More John the Apostle

 

Italian School, 14th century. During the 1200s a new format for painting—the altarpiece—appeared in Italian churches. Previously, fresco and mosaic decoration were predominant, and Western artists did not often paint on wooden panels

Italian artists working in this new medium turned for inspiration to the Christian East, adapting the techniques, style, and subject matter of Byzantine icons, devotional images whose backgrounds are dematerialized with shimmering gold and whose figures often appear timeless and remote. But church decoration in the West was also meant to instruct the faithful, which fostered less static styles. New religious orders, especially the Franciscans, who emphasized the human life of holy figures, prompted artists to capture the world of everyday experience with greater verisimilitude.

The Florentine Giotto is usually credited with first capturing the weight and mass of bodies in space, making them three-dimensional with light and shadow. He abandoned the decorative pattern and complicated line of Byzantine art for heavier, simpler forms and animated his figures with genuine human motivations. His innovations did not proceed uninterrupted, however, and after mid-century Florentine painters like Orcagna returned to a more ornate and less naturalistic style. More Italian School, 14th century

Circle of Quinten Massys

THE VIRGIN AND CHILD

oil on oak panel

60.5 x 44.9 cm.; 23 3/4  x 17 5/8  in.

Private collection

Quinten Massys, 1465/6 – 1530. Massys was the leading painter in Antwerp in the early 16th century. He was born in Louvain and his earliest works show the influence of Memling, who had been active in Bruges. His later works show some Italian influence, particularly that of Leonardo. He was notable as a portraitist as well as a religious painter.

Massys is first recorded in Antwerp, on becoming a member of the guild there in 1491, when the town was beginning to assume importance as the main port of the Netherlands. There are dated and datable paintings by Massys from 1509 onwards, the year of the completion of his altarpiece of the ‘Legend of Saint Anna’ (now in the Brussels Museum).

In Antwerp, Massys was closely associated with Joachim Patinir, and seems to have supplied figures for his landscapes. More Quinten Massys,

Manner of Tommaso del Mazza, called the master of St. Verdiana

A PORTABLE TRIPTYCH SHOWING THE MADONNA AND CHILD ENTHRONED WITH SAINTS, WITH THE ANNUNCIATION AND CRUCIFIXION DEPICTED ON THE WINGS

Oil on panel, gold ground, pointed tops

central panel: 89.5 x 34.6 cm.; 35 1/4  x 13 5/8  in.

wings, each: 68.9 x 17.3 cm.; 27 1/8  x 6 7/8  in.

Private collection

The Virgin Enthroned symbolizes the mystery of the incarnation of Christ made man and the glory of the Mother of God. This justifies the intense expression of the countenances, the solemn attitudes of the Saints present at the glory of the Mother of God, the awed attention of the Archangels who “behold” the mystery of the incarnation. More The Virgin Enthroned

The Annunciation is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God.

According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred “in the sixth month” of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, an approximation of the northern vernal equinox nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday of Jesus. In England, this came to be known as Lady Day. It marked the new year until 1752. The 2nd-century writer Irenaeus of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus as 25 March coinciding with the Passion. More The Annunciation

Crucifixion is a historical method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang for several days until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It is principally known from classical antiquity, but remains in occasional use in some countries.

The crucifixion of Jesus is a central narrative in Christianity, and the cross (sometimes depicting Jesus nailed onto it) is the main religious symbol for many Christian churches. More Crucifixion

 

Tommaso del Mazza, known as the Master of Saint Verdiana (active 1377 – 1392), worked in the late Gothic style at the dawn of the Renaissance in Florence. In his early career, during the 1370s, he was active in the workshop of Andrea Orcagna, whose work featured gold backgrounds, attention to the picture’s surface, and brilliant colors. Showing no compulsion to render a scene in realistic detail, del Mazza allowed the needs of the theme and their inherent symbolism to determine his stylized approach to painting. In the 1390s he became an independent artist. More Tommaso del Mazza

South Netherlandish School, second quarter of the 16th century

THE VIRGIN AND CHILD ON A CRESCENT MOON

Oil on oak panel, with an arched top, in an integral frame

Painted surface: 33 x 22.8 cm.; 13 x 9 in. 

Overall: 41 x 31 cm.; 16 1/8  x 12 1/4  in.

Private collection

The depiction of the Madonna on the crescent is based on the vision of John the Evangelist in chapter 12 of Revelation, the final book of the New Testament (here, the King James version):

1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. More

The depiction of the back of the Virgin and Child, with the two figures looking over their shoulders, is particularly rare in Western art. There are only three other examples of this type recorded in the database of the RKD, The Hague, both anonymous and dated to the same period as the present panel. More on The depiction

Early Netherlandish painting refers to the work of artists, sometimes known as the Flemish Primitives, active in the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands during the 15th- and 16th-century Northern Renaissance; especially in the flourishing cities of Bruges, Ghent, Tournai and Brussels. Their work follows the International Gothic style. It lasts at least until the death of Gerard David in 1523, although many scholars extend it to the start of the Dutch Revolt in 1566 or 1568. Early Netherlandish painting coincides with the Early and High Italian Renaissance but is seen as an independent artistic culture, separate from the Renaissance humanism that characterised developments in Italy. B

Assisted by the workshop system, panels and a variety of crafts were sold to foreign princes or merchants through private engagement or market stalls. A majority were destroyed during waves of iconoclasm in the 16th and 17th centuries; today only a few thousand examples survive.

Scholarship of Early Netherlandish painting was one of the main activities of 19th and 20th-century art history, and was a major focus of two of the most important art historians of the 20th century: Max J. Friedländer (From Van Eyck to Breugel and Early Netherlandish Painting) and Erwin Panofsky (Early Netherlandish Painting). More Early Netherlandish 

LARGE BRASS ICON, Russian

 THE OLD TESTAMENT TRINITY, c. 19th century

Cast in relief, enamelled in green, white, black, white and blue

21.3 x 17.3 cm. 

Private collection

LARGE BRASS AND ENAMEL ICON, Russian, 

SHOWING THE OLD TESTAMENT TRINITY, c. 19th century

Cast in relief, enameled in green, white, yellow, blue and black

21 x 17 cm.

Private collection

The first reference to the activity of the triune God is recorded in the first account of creation. There it states: “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” and also: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness'”. “Elohim”, the designation for God used in the original Hebrew text, is plural. It means “the Divine” as well as “gods” and should be understood, in light of the gospel, as a reference to the triune God.

The various divine manifestations, for example “Angel of the Lord”, “Spirit of God”, or “Spirit of the Lord” are also interpreted as references to the mystery of the trinity of God.

The three messengers of God who visited Abraham are understood in Christian tradition as a reference to the mystery of the divine Trinity.

The activity of the triune God in the priestly blessing is interpreted in the same way: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

The angel’s threefold praise in the inaugural vision of the prophet Isaiah is also considered an indication of God’s trinity: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”. More on  triune God

BRASS ICON,  Russian, 

BRASS ICON SHOWING ST. DIMITRIY OF SALONIKI, c. 19th century

Cast, decorated with enamel

11.2 x 9.8 cm

Private collection

Saint Dimitrios. The city of Thessaloniki suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans, and Demetrios was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city. Hence later traditions about Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army, and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr. Unsurprisingly, he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages. More Saint Dimitrios

Secondary altar shrine

Overall height: 127 cm. 

Width: 83.5 cm. Depth: approx. 31 cm. 

17th century

Wooden high altar shrine with carved blasting gables, in winged angel head, including frieze. The doors are carved with cassettes, each with a moving braid. In the open state round arched box nets. Previously, carving relief depictions of Saint Peter on the left as well as of Saint Francis on the right, each on large acanthus volute. The back wall painted in a landscape, a wooden cross with a carved Corpus Christi, flanked by the assistant figures “Maria” and “Johannes” in the Hochrelief. The doors of the door are decorated with four paintings, on the upper left, “Jesus at the Mount of Olives,” on the upper right, “Flagellation of Christ”. Figures and reliefs. (1091259) (2) (11) Two-door shrine altar Height: 127 cm. Width: 83.5 cm. Depth: about 31 cm. 17th century. Portrait format wooden altar shrine. When it’s done, it’s a box-shaped niche surmounted by a round arch with carvings of Saint Peter on the left and Saint Francis on the right. The interior of a carved wood carving in a carved wooden carving in the background. Four paintings are set inside the doors. When it’s done, it’s a box-shaped niche surmounted by a round arch with carvings of Saint Peter on the left and Saint Francis on the right. The interior of a carved wood carving in a carved wooden carving in the background. Four paintings are set inside the doors. When it’s done, it’s a box-shaped niche surmounted by a round arch with carvings of Saint Peter on the left and Saint Francis on the right. The interior of a carved wood carving in a carved wooden carving in the background. Four paintings are set inside the doors.

Acknowledgement: HAMPEL,  SOTHEBY’S, and others

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13 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART – Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 56

Vincent van Gogh, (1853 – 1890)

Pietà (after Delacroix), c. September 1889 

Oil on canvas

73 cm x 60.5 cm 

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Van Gogh based his Pietà on a lithograph of a painting by Eugène Delacroix (below). In fact, it is more a variation on the original work than a copy. From Delacroix, Van Gogh took the theme of the Virgin Mary mourning the dead Christ, as well as the composition. He added his own colour and personal signature.

The painting resulted from an accident. Van Gogh wrote, ‘that lithograph of Delacroix, the Pietà, with other sheets had fallen into some oil and paint and got spoiled. I was sad about it – then in the meantime I occupied myself painting it, and you’ll see it one day.’ The lithograph has survived, complete with stain. More on this work

The Pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the Lamentation of Christ, a scene from the Passion of Christ found in cycles of the Life of Christ. When Christ and the Virgin are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament, the subject is strictly called a Lamentation in English, although Pietà is often used for this as well, and is the normal term in Italian. More the Pietà

Vincent van Gogh (born March 30, 1853, Zundert, Neth.—died July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, France). Dutch painter, generally considered the greatest after Rembrandt, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. The striking colour, emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh’s art became astoundingly popular after his death, especially in the late 20th century, when his work sold for record-breaking sums at auctions around the world and was featured in blockbuster touring exhibitions. In part because of his extensive published letters, van Gogh has also been mythologized in the popular imagination as the quintessential tortured artist. More on Vincent van Gogh

Eugène Delacroix, 1798 – 1863

Pietà, c. 1850

Oil on canvas

35 × 27 cm

Museum National Museum, Oslo

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school.

As a painter and muralist, Delacroix’s use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish author Walter Scott and the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the “forces of the sublime”, of nature in often violent action.

However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, and his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, “Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible.” MoreFerdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish (1577 – 1640)

The Feast of Herod, c. 1635 – 1638

Oil on canvas

 208.3 x 271.5 x 5 cm

National Galleries of Scotland

Herodias’ daughter, Salome, had danced so beautifully that Herod had promised to grant her any wish. Prompted by Herodias, Salome asked for the head of John the Baptist. This was Herodias’ revenge for the Baptist’s outspoken criticism of her marriage to Herod. Here Salome presents Saint John the Baptist’s head to King Herod. Herod shrinks back in horror. To his left, Herodias prods the Baptist’s tongue with a fork. Rubens conveys the dramatic moment through the actions and expressions of his larger than life size figures, his rich colours and bold contrasts of light and shadow. The picture was probably painted for Gaspar de Roomer, a Flemish merchant based in Naples, and inspired a number of Italian artists. More on this painting

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England.  More Sir Peter Paul Rubens

Paul Delaroche, (1797-1856)

THE GUILLOTINE 

Oil on canvas

41 x 63 1/2 in., 46 x 78 1/2 in

Private Collection

The scene depicted here is the 1794 guillotine deaths of the Martyrs of Compiegne, the sixteen Carmelite nuns who were sentenced to death during the Reign of Terror. During the anti-clericalism of the French Revolution, the nuns refused to obey the mandate that suppressed their monastery. They were arrested, imprisoned and brought to Paris where they were condemned as traitors and sentenced to death. On July 17, 1794, this group of sixteen nuns were guillotined. The novice, Sister Constance, was the first to die, followed by the lay sisters and ending with the prioress, Mother Teresa of St. Augustine. More on this painting

Paul Delaroche (Paris, 17 July 1797 – 4 November 1856) was a French painter. He became famous in Europe for his melodramatic scenes that often portrayed subjects from English and French history. The emotions emphasised in Delaroche’s paintings appeal to Romanticism while the detail of his work along with the deglorified portrayal of historic figures follow the trends of Academicism and Neoclassicism. Delaroche aimed to depict his subjects and history with pragmatic realism. 

Delaroche was born into a generation that saw the stylistic conflicts between Romanticism and Davidian Classicism. Davidian Classicism was widely accepted and enjoyed by society so as a developing artist at the time of the introduction of Romanticism in Paris, Delaroche found his place between the two movements. Later in the 1830s, Delaroche exhibited the first of his major religious works. His change of subject and “the painting’s austere manner” were ill-received by critics and after 1837, he stopped exhibiting his work altogether. At the time of his death in 1856, he was painting a series of four scenes from the Life of the Virgin. Only one work from this series was completed: the Virgin Contemplating the Crown of Thorns. More on Paul Delaroche 

Bernardino di Betto, known as Pinturicchio (Perugia c. 1454 – 1513 Siena)

Madonna

Fragment of the destroyed divine investiture of Alexander VI, c. 1492-1493

wall painting by the seventeenth-century frame, 39.5 cm x 28, 5 x 5

Private collection

For centuries, Renaissance artist Pintoricchio was practically accused of blasphemy by those who contended he used Pope Alexander VI’s young lover, Giulia Farnese, as the model for the Madonna in a wall painting that decorated the pontiff’s private apartment. The painting depicts a Virgin blessing with Child, and at their feet an adoring Pope. 

The painting provoked so much scandal that Pope Alexander VII ordered the fresco removed, more than five decades after he succeeded the previous Alexander. The painting was ripped out and over time, its remaining fragments were thought to have been lost forever. But it turned out some of the original did survive; and over the years were collected, Like key pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

The portrait of infant Jesus and the Madonna is all that survived.

Bernardino di Betto, known as Pinturicchio (Perugia c. 1454 – 1513 Siena)

Baby Jesus of the Hands

Fragment of the destroyed divine investiture of Alexander VI, c. 1492-1493

Giulia Farnese (1474 – 23 March 1524) was mistress to Pope Alexander VI, and the sister of Pope Paul III.

On 21 May 1489, she married Orsino Orsini. It is uncertain when Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) fell in love with Giulia and decided to make her his mistress. What is known is that Adriana de Mila eventually gave her approval to Rodrigo Borgia and Giulia Farnese’s relationship in order to win a higher status for her son within the Vatican. By November 1493, Giulia was living with Adriana de Mila and the Pope’s daughter Lucrezia Borgia in a recently built palace next to the Vatican from where the Pope could easily make his clandestine visits. The affair was widely rumored among gossips of the time.

Writers like Michael de la Bedoyere dispute her alleged status as mistress.

Through her intimacy with the Pope, Giulia was able to get her brother Alessandro (the future Paul III) created Cardinal in 1493.

Giulia had a daughter whom she named Laura. It is not clear whether Laura’s father was Orsino or Alexander. Maria Bellonci believes that there is evidence that she did have a physical relationship with her husband. Whatever the case may be, Giulia claimed that Laura was indeed the Pope’s daughter, but this may have been to raise the status of the child for future marriage considerations.

 In 1494, she angered the Pope by setting off to Capodimonte to be at the deathbed of her brother Angelo. She remained away from Rome, even after her brother’s death, at the insistence of her husband. He eventually capitulated. This occurred at the same time as the French invasion of Italy under Charles VIII. Giulia was captured by the French, who demanded from the Pope, and received, a ransom of 3,000 scudi for her safe conduct to Rome.

Giulia remained close to the Pope until 1499 or 1500. 

She married Giovanni Capece of Bozzuto. He was a member of the lower ranking Neapolitan nobility. In 1506, Giulia became the governor of Carbognano. Giulia took up residence in the citadel of the castle. She stayed in Carbognano until 1522; she then returned to Rome.

She died there. She was 50 years old. The cause of her death is unknown. Ten years later her brother ascended the papal throne as Pope Paul III. Laura and Niccolò had three sons, who inherited the possessions of the Orsini family. More on Giulia Farnese

Pintoricchio or Pinturicchio, whose formal name was Bernardino di Betto, also known as Benetto di Biagio or Sordicchio, c.1454–1513, Umbrian painter whose real name was Bernardino di Betto. A prolific and facile painter, he was influenced by Perugino, with whom he collaborated on the frescoes for the Sistine Chapel. Pinturicchio worked chiefly in Perugia, Rome, and Siena. He decorated the Borgia apartments in the Vatican and several churches in Rome. His most elaborate project was the decoration of the cathedral library in Siena. In the Metropolitan Museum are many panels of mythological scenes from the ceiling of the reception room in the Palazzo del Magnifico in Siena. More on Pinturicchio

The exact composition of the painting, however, did not disappear thanks to a copy made in 1612 by the painter Pietro Fachetti (below). More on the composition

Pietro Fachetti, 1539 – 1613

Virgin blessing with Child

The face of the Madonna by Pintoricchio, reconstructed, allows us to partially a work of great iconography significance and obvious theological significance. A rare papal iconography, representing the divine investiture of the newly elected Pontiff, permanently sweeps the field by much more “worldly” interpretations that caused the destruction, but persisting in memory.

Pietro Facchetti (1539 – 27 February 1613) was an Italian painter of the late-Renaissance, mainly active in Rome.

Born to a poor family in Mantua. Facchetti initially trained with Lorenzo Costa the younger, but then moved to Rome and joined the studio of Scipione da Gaeta, where he gained fame as a portrait painter. More on Pietro Facchetti

Thanks to Capitoline Museums ITALY EUROPE 24, and LiveAuctioneers for this story

Matteo Loves, (1625 to 1647)

Judith with the Head of Holofernes., Circa 1620-1630.

Oil on canvas

35 ¼ x 41 5/16 in. (89.5 x 105 cm)

In the canvas before us, this bloody Biblical episode provides an occasion for the representation of the affetti, both refined and harsh. Between the end of the 1500s and the beginning of the century that followed, art in the Christian West saw the spread of an iconography that treated subjects from the Old Testament or Classical mythology as vehicles for portraits and the depiction of sentiment. A general example of this practice can be found in the famous painting by Cristofano Allori (below) in which the woman he loved plays the part of Judith, while the features of the beheaded Holofernes are a self-portrait of the artist. More on this canvas

The Book of Judith is the Old Testament of the Bible. The story revolves around Judith, a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, with whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Though she is courted by many, Judith remains unmarried for the rest of her life. More on The Book of Judith

 

Matteo Loves (Italian, active 1625-circa 1645) was a painter active in Cento from about 1625 to 1662. Few biographical details are know. It is said he was born in Cologne to an English family, and arrived as a young man in Cento, where he trained with Guercino. Works by Loves can be found in the Pinacoteca of Cento and in the church of San Rocco e San Sebastiano. More Matteo Loves

Cristofano Allori,  (1577–1621)

Judith with the Head of Holophernes, c. 1613

Oil on canvas

120.4 × 100.3 cm (47.4 × 39.5 in)

Royal Collection

Cristofano Allori (17 October 1577 – 1 April 1621) was an Italian portrait painter of the late Florentine Mannerist school. Allori was born at Florence and received his first lessons in painting from his father. He entered the studio of Gregorio Pagani,  late Florentine school, which sought to unite the rich coloring of the Venetians with the Florentine attention to drawing. 

His pictures are distinguished by their close adherence to nature and the delicacy and technical perfection of their execution. His technical skill is shown by the fact that several copies he made of Correggio’s works were thought to be duplicates by Correggio himself. His extreme fastidiousness limited the number of his works. 

His most famous work, in his own day and now, is Judith with the Head of Holofernes (above). It exists in at least two versions by Allori, of which the prime version is perhaps that in the British Royal Collection, dated 1613, with various pentimenti. A version of 1620 in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence is the best known and there are several copies by studio and other hands. More Cristofano Allori

Spanish Colonial, Peru, Cuzco School, ca. 1750 CE

Santa Barbara

oil-on-canvas

43.875″ L x 31″ W (111.4 cm x 78.7 cm)

Private Collection

Santa Barbara dressed in elaborate embroidered and lace-trimmed garments or rich hues and fabrics, holding her chief attribute, a model of the tower where her father locked her away to discourage suitors (Was this the source for Rapunzel perhaps?) as well as a huge peacock feather, a symbol of her immortality. She is regarded as the patron saint of armorers and firearms stemming from the theme of sudden death in her story, and is sometimes associated with the warrior saint George. 

Saint Barbara is a former Christian saint and virgin martyr believed to have lived in Asia Minor in the 3rd century. Her story dates to the 7th century and is retold in the Golden Legend. It is as follows: Dioscurus, the father of Barbara, was a heartless nobleman who had a tower built so that he could lock his daughter away to deter suitors. At first the tower only had two windows; however, Barbara persuaded the workmen to add a third when her father wasn’t looking. She also secretly admitted a priest disguised as a doctor, who baptized her to become Christian. When her father returned, Barbara declared that the three windows symbolized the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who ignited her soul. Dioscurus grew enraged and chased his daughter who had fled the tower. She hid in the crevice of a rock; however, a shepherd told her father of her hiding place. Once found, Barbara was dragged out by the hair and beaten by her father who next handed her over to the Roman authorities. She refused to renounce her Christian beliefs and was tortured. Miraculously, at the moment of her execution by her father’s sword, he was struck by lightning, his body devoured by fire. More on Saint Barbara

The Cuzco School (Escuela Cuzquena) was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition which originated following the 1534 Spanish Conquest of the Inca Empire and continued during the Colonial Period in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Though based in Cusco, Peru (the former capital of the Inca Empire), the Cuzco School extended to other cities of the Andes, present day Bolivia, and Ecuador. Today it is regarded as the first artistic center that taught European visual art techniques in the Americas. The primary intention of Cuzco School paintings was to be didactic. Hoping to convert the Incas to Catholicism, the Spanish sent religious artists to Cusco who created a school for the Quechua peoples and mestizos. Interestingly, Cusquena art was created by the indigenous as well as Spanish creoles. In addition to religious subjects, the Cuzco School expressed their cultural pride with paintings of Inca monarchs. Despite the fact that Cuzco School painters had studied prints of Flemish, Byzantine, and Italian Renaissance art, these artists’ style and techniques were generally freer than that of their European models. More on The Cuzco School

ARTIST OF FRANCO -German XVII CENTURY

Flagellation of Christ

Oil on board

55,00 x 73,00 cm

Private Collection

The Flagellation of Christ, sometimes known as Christ at the Column or the Scourging at the Pillar, is a scene from the Passion of Christ very frequently shown in Christian art, in cycles of the Passion or the larger subject of the Life of Christ. It is the fourth station of the modern alternate Stations of the Cross, and a Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary. The column to which Christ is normally tied, and the rope, scourge, whip or birch are elements in the Arma Christi. The Basilica di Santa Prassede in Rome, claimed to possess the original column. More on The Flagellation of Christ

Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1824 – 1904, FRENCH

BETHSABÉE

Oil on canvas

60.5 by 100cm., 23¾ by 39¼in.

Private Collection

‘And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon’ (II Samuel 11:2)

Blending the Biblical subject with a masterful exploration of light and the human form, Gérôme’s interpretation of the story belongs to his most important works.

Bathsheba was the wife of the Hittite Uriah, who served under Joab in King David’s army. Uriah is away fighting a battle when David first spies Bathsheba from his palace. He sends messengers to find her. She goes to him, sleeps with him, and conceives his child. To conceal his sin, David recalls Uriah from battle, ostensibly to hear how the war is going, but actually to encourage him to sleep with his wife. Uriah renounces the opportunity out of conscience towards his fellow soldiers battling it out in the field, choosing instead to sleep before the gates of the king’s palace. David now changes tack, instructing Joab to ensure Uriah fall on the battlefield, which he does. Bathsheba mourns her husband, then becomes David’s wife. More on Bathsheba

Jean-Léon Gérôme (11 May 1824 – 10 January 1904) was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as Academicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects, bringing the Academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. He is considered one of the most important painters from this academic period, and in addition to being a painter, he was also a teacher with a long list of students. More on Jean-Léon Gérôme

Andrea Mantegna, 1431 – 1506

Presentation in the Temple, c.1460

Tempera on wood

67 x 86 cm

Staatliche Museen, Berlin

 

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, is a liturgical feast. The feast is associated with an event recounted not in the New Testament, but in the apocryphal Infancy Narrative of James. According to that text, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, received a heavenly message that they would have a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought her, when still a child, to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Later versions of the story tell us that Mary was taken to the Temple at around the age of three in fulfillment of a vow. Tradition held that she was to remain there to be educated in preparation for her role as Mother of God. More on The Presentation of Mary

Andrea Mantegna ( c. 1431 – September 13, 1506) was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son-in-law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g. by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality. His flinty, metallic landscapes and somewhat stony figures give evidence of a fundamentally sculptural approach to painting. He also led a workshop that was the leading producer of prints in Venice before 1500. More on Andrea Mantegna

Acknowledgement: Artemis Gallery,  and others

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15 Carvings & Sculpture from the Bible! 15 – 19th Century. With Footnote, # 12

The master of the Kefermarkter altar

Madonna on the Crescent Moon with the Christ Child

Crescent Madonna

Height: 140 cm. 

Around 1490/1500.

The slender body is conceived on a carved rock base with foot above the crescent, standing between two angelic figures. A scepter in the right hand, in the left arm-bend the Jesus child, with its head tilted to the right, turns the view to the observer. At the same time, he holds an apple, the right hand with pointed finger pointing upwards. Like the apple is a symbol of the sin, the X-shaped crossed legs were a symbolism for the rule of Christ. The dress of Mary is girdled up and brown, and the wide decorated border draws diagonally across. The mantle carved in a rich bowl and crippled folds, which ends in a curved manner downwards, corresponds compositively to the bending of the crescent.  More Madonna on the Crescent Moon with the Christ Child

Master of the Kefermarkt Altar, (fl. c. 1470—1510), was a painter and sculptor, active in Austria. He takes his name from the high altarpiece of the pilgrimage church of Kefermarkt (Upper Austria). FTthe altarpiece was begun before 1490 and completed in 1497. Its paintwork was almost entirely removed in 1852–5 during the restoration organized by Adalbert Stifter (1805–68). More Master of the Kefermarkt Altar

Pietro Pacilli, Rome, 1720 – 1773 

St. Camillus de Lellis 

Clay Sketch 

Height: 50 cm (19.68 in.) 

Private collection

Saint Camillus de Lellis, M.I., (25 May 1550 – 14 July 1614) was born at Bocchianico, Italy. He fought for the Venetians against the Turks, was addicted to gambling, and by 1574 was penniless in Naples. He became a Capuchin novice, but was unable to be professed because of a diseased leg he contracted while fighting the Turks. He devoted himself to caring for the sick, and became director of St. Giacomo Hospital in Rome. He received permission from his confessor (St. Philip Neri) to be ordained and decided, with two companions, to found his own congregation, the Ministers of the Sick (the Camellians), dedicated to the care of the sick. They ministered to the sick of Holy Ghost Hospital in Rome, enlarged their facilities in 1585, founded a new house in Naples in 1588, and attended the plague-stricken aboard ships in Rome’s harbor and in Rome. In 1591, the Congregation was made into an order to serve the sick by Pope Gregory XIV, and in 1591 and 1605, Camillus sent members of his order to minister to wounded troops in Hungary and Croatia, the first field medical unit. Gravely ill for many years, he resigned as superior of the Order in 1607 and died in Rome on July 14, the year after he attended a General Chapter there. 

He was canonized in 1746, was declared patron of the sick, with St. John of God, by Pope Leo XIII, and patron of nurses and nursing groups by Pope Pius XI. More Saint Camillus de Lellis

This “bozzeto” representing the founder of the Camillian order, Camille de Lellis, who died in 1614 and was canonized in 1746, belongs to the group of three models still preserved today, preliminary to the construction of the marble version, carved between 1750 and 1753 by the artist Pietro Pacilli. Prized by the Academy of Saint Luke in 1738, this pupil of Giovanni Battista Maini and Camillo Rusconi responds to several orders in the Roman churches (Basilica San Marco, Church of the Spanish Trinity, etc.) before participating in the realization From the gallery of portraits of founders of the religious Order of the nave of St. Peter’s Basilica of the Vatican. With the two other models preserved in the National Museum of Palazzo Venetia and in the sacristy of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome, this terracotta testifies to the long process of creating a sculptured work. More Clay Sketch

Michel Ehrhardt, around 1440/45 – after 1522 Ulm, train.

GNADENSTUHL/ Mercy seat, around 1500 / 1510

Linden wood

The Holy See, Christian art depicting the Trinity 

Height: 79 cm. Width: 54 cm. 

. Private collection

Linden wood, carved. Formerly captured, completely freed from composing, appears in light-brown wood tone. On the back strongly hollowed. The highly quality carved figure group is shown in a strictly ordered triangle composition. The godfather, long-bearded, with a crown over his head, from whose back of the front of the crown two flat ribbons swing sideways to the shoulders, the garment laid in moving folds. Between the knees almost perpendicular to the lean body of Jesus, the legs bent, the lower legs turned to the left. The lentent of Christ on the right side of the body, with cripples on the front. Stretching seat of the throne, on the right with pleated sheath, More GNADENSTUHL/ Mercy seat 

Michel Erhart, also known as Michael Erhart (* around 1440/45; † after 1522 in Ulm) was a well-known sculptor and screen-maker of Late Gothic and worked especially in and around Ulm . He belongs to the Ulm school . His exact biographical data are still unclear.

Erhart’s travels led him to visit Konstanz and Strasbourg , but also probably to the Netherlands, no later than 1469 in the free imperial city of Ulm, in which he worked from 1469 to 1,522th

Erhart worked in Ulm first in the workshop Jörg Syrlins on the choral arrangement of the Ulm Cathedral. Afterwards, he was commissioned to create “etlich bild” for the (lost) high altar of the Ulmer Minster. From 1474 he had his own workshop. Later his sons Gregor Erhart and Bernhard Erhart continued his work.

Michel Erhart was artistically influenced by the new, spacious and realistic style of the then famous Dutch sculptor Niclas Gerhaert van Leyden , whose work he had studied in Strasbourg, among others, and in whose Strasbourg workshop he might even have worked. More Michel Erhart

Holy Christophorus, c. around 1600

Lindenwood

Height: 99 cm. 

Schwaben, Bavaria 

.Private collection

The saint in a knee-length girdled mantle. Right hand resting on the hip, the left raised hand holding a crooked stick. The head is occupied by three gilded nimbus beams. The right foot hidden in the water and waves of the base, the left side exposed as on the shore. Lindenwood carved, verso hollowed. More Holy Christophorus

Saint Christopher is venerated as a martyr killed in the reign of the 3rd-century Roman Emperor Decius,) or alternatively under the Roman Emperor Maximinus II Dacian. There appears to be confusion due to the similarity in names “Decius” and “Dacian”. However his veneration only appears late in Christian tradition, and did not become widespread in the Western Church until the Late Middle Ages, although churches and monasteries were named after him by the 7th century.

It is disputed whether Christopher existed, and if so whether the name applied to a specific person or was a general title meaning “Christ-bearer” which was applied to several different real or legendary people. He may be the same figure as Saint Menas. His most famous legend, which is mainly known from the West and may draw from Ancient Greek mythology, tells that he carried a child, who was unknown to him, across a river before the child revealed himself as Christ. Therefore, he is the patron saint of travelers. More Saint Christopher

Late Gothic sculpture group

Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, c. around 1500

Wooden carving, polychromy with aged patina

Height: 50 cm. 

Schwaben, Bavaria 

.Private collection

The composition of the group of figures in a strict triangular composition: Mother Anna, seated on a throne, her cheeks protrude laterally from the folds of the garment, a green garnished gown, over her red coat. The head is covered with a white cloth, which covers the forehead and chin, leaving only her face. To her right stands the youthfully depicted Mary, with an open prayer-book in both hands, with long flowing hair and a crown. On the left knee the Jesus child, who raised his right hand, in a blessing gesture,in his left hand on a ball. 

Christ’s Baptism at the Jordan, around 1600

carved in hardwood

Height: 100 cm. 

Width: 68 cm. 

Depth: approx. 20 cm. 

Probably South Tyrol

Carved in hardwood, the main figures are fully sculptured with a rather flat carved background. To the right the figure of John the Baptist, clothed only with a robe with fur covering over his shoulder. In the right hand the baptismal cup above the head of the kneeling figure of Jesus. Between the two figures, the arched waves of the Jordan. Jesus kneeling on the left, clothed only with a shroud, bowed head, his hands crossed over his chest. The background shows a rock formation behind the Jesus, on the right a forest  with curved tree trunks and pine cones. On the left, above the rock, two smaller angelic figures holding a cloth. Altogether largely preserved version, dress and lendentuch gilded, setting tuned. More Christ’s Baptism at the Jordan

 Lorenz Luidl, (around 1645 Mering – 1719 Landsberg am Lech)

The Calvary

Altar of the Bavarian Baroque

Height: 165 cm. Width: 105 cm. Depth: 45 cm.

The scene of the Calvary with the three crosses. The flat back wall painted with a view of the city of Jerusalem, with a dome building in the center, which points to the temple of Salomonis. In front of it, as on a stage, the lawns and rocky bases, on which the figures are erected, evolve. In the center, the Cross of Christ, Laterally the crosses of the thieves, tied to the wooden beams). The figures hanging on the cross are clothed. The left thief, looking upwards as a sign of his acceptance into the heavens, which Jesus had given him. The opposing deceiver, on the other hand, looks downward, as a sign of his condemnation, which is to be seen above the cross-beam a small, separately carved devil’s shape. At the foot of the cross, the kneeling Maria Magdalena, on the right beside mother Mary she’s also looking up to her son, while the John Evangelist, standing to the right, leads her soothingly by the hand. To the left of the horse, Holy Longinus, with lance, who inflicted the Christ’s side wound. In the background in the relief a full and a half moon in gilding. Special attention is paid to the pedestal. Here, numerous bones and rotten limbs, which have originally been lighter, have been found, including, of course, the skull of Adam, and on the cross-stem the ointment of Mary Magdalene. 

The altar crucifixion group, with a total of nine individual sculptures, is one of the few surviving examples of its kind, as they were usually erected in Church traditions only on Good Friday in side chapels of churches. More on this Calvary.

Lorenz Luidl (around 1645 in Mering , 14 January 1719 in Landsberg am Lech ) was a Bavarian baroque sculptor. Lorenz Luidl was the most important member of a far-flung sculptural cliff in western Upper Bavaria. In 1668 he was accepted as citizen of the town of Landsberg and in the same year he married Maria Miller († 1678). After the death of his first wife he married the baker’s daughter Ursula Ludwig in 1678. In 1669 he bought a house in Ledergasse and in 1679 another house in the neighborhood. In 1699, Luidl was appointed to the city’s outer council. In 1717 he handed over his workshop and the total assets to the son Johann Luidl. The Luidl workshop in Landsberg was one of the most productive sculptor workshops in the outgoing 17th and beginning 18th century in Bavaria.

Among the characteristic features of the Luidl sculptures are the moving overall appearance of the figures and the mannerist folds of the robes. More Lorenz Luidl 

Florentine sculptor of the 17th / 18th century

Mary Magdalene

Terracotta

Height: approx. 33 cm. Length: 63 cm.

Private collection

Terracotta tile of Mary Magdalene lying on rocks in the worship of the cross. In a horizontal position, to the left, with her hand resting on a rock, the upper body slightly raised, a cross in the right hand, a rosary and a scourge. The rocky terrain rising from the front to the rear, with a tree stump pulling up on the upper edge, covered with herb. More Terracotta tile of Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene,  literally translated as Mary the Magdalene or Mary of Magdala, is a figure in Christianity who, according to the Bible, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is said to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Within the four Gospels she is named more than most of the apostles. Based on texts of the early Christian era in the third century, it seems that her status as an “apostle” rivals even Peter’s.

The Gospel of Luke says seven demons had gone out of her. She is most prominent in the narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present. She was also present two days later when, she was, either alone or as a member of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection of Jesus. John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically name her as the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection.

During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene was regarded in Western Christianity as a repentant prostitute or promiscuous woman, claims not found in any of the four canonical gospels. More Mary Magdalene

Flemish school of the eighteenth century 

Madonna and Child 

Terracotta 

Height: 56 cm (22 in.) 

Private collection

This statuette was made for private use, within the framework of private devotion, it represents the Virgin and Child, no longer as a symbol of the triumphant Catholic Church, but as a metaphor for filial love. 

From this scene of a mother leaning and the forehead glued to that of her Child abandoned in a deep sleep emanates a great tenderness. The image of the sleeping Christ, however, corresponds to the prefiguration of his inexorable Passion. More Madonna and Child 

Italian School at the end of the 15th or early 16th century 

Bust of Pieta 

Polychromed terracotta 

h: 28 W: 34 d: 13 cm

Private collection

This polychromed terracotta bust offers a particularly poignant image of the Virgin after the death of Christ. It ‘ ‘Is probably the upper fragment of a representation of the Virgin of a group of the’ ‘Death of Christ’ or of a’ Pieta ‘ The work expresses the feelings of despair and incomprehension with a naturalism that is found mainly in the groups of life size and polychromed terracotta which spread to Northern Italy in the second half of the 15th century. Elaborately staged, they allowed the faithful to identify with the tragic event of the Passion. More Bust of Pieta 

Attributed to Jacques Bergé, Brussels, 1693 – 1756 

The Massacre of the Innocents 

Bas-relief terracotta with squaring 

8.15 x 14.37 in., H: 20,70 w: 36,50 cm 

Private Collection

A student of Nicolas Coustou in Paris, Jacques Bergé traveled to Italy and, returning to Brussels in 1722, becoming a Belgian sculptor of The first half of the sixteenth century. He is particularly renowned for his bas-reliefs with a pictorial and narrative character. The bas-relief of the “Massacre of the Innocents” sketched and put to the tile is to be compared to the “Crucifixion of Saint Peter” Preserved in the Louvre museum which is attributed to him and the “Death of Saphire and Ananie” preserved at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Brussels. They present the same type of construction in large diagonal, several distinct planes and an architecture as drawn in the earth in very low relief enclosing the composition. More Massacre of the Innocents Bas-relief

Jean-Jacques Feuchère, Paris, 1807 – 1852 

Satan, c. 1833

Bronze with dark brown patina 

Height: 35 cm (13,78 in.) 

Private Collection

In the 19th century, the artists of Romanticism took advantage of the biblical, faustian, dantesque or miltonian iconography. Satan. Feuchère fits perfectly into this artistic trend when he shows the Salon of 1834 this “Satan”. The figure of the fallen angel is inspired by ” The Melancholy “by Dürer. “The elbow in the knee, the chin in his hand, [dreaming] of the poor human lot,” The “Satan” of Feuchere adopts the pose of the romantic poet that Carpeaux and Rodin will use for “Ugolin” and ”The Thinker”.  More Satan of Feuchere

Jean-Jacques Feuchère (24 August 1807 – 26 July 1852) was a French sculptor. Son of a chiseler, Feuchère began working for goldsmiths. He was a pupil of Jean-Pierre Cortot and Jules Ramey, professors at the School of Fine Arts of Paris. In 1848, he participated in the competition for the sculpted figure of the French Republic, launched by the provisional government. The jury retained his project and he was commissioned, in 1849 to create The Constitution. It was completed in 1852 and was inaugurated on the Place du Palais-Bourbon in 1854 under the name of La Loi. One of the most famous works of Jean-Jacques Feuchère is his Satan (circa 1833, above) drawing his inspiration from black romanticism. More Jean-Jacques Feuchère

Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse

La Vierge Marie présentant l’enfant Jésus ou Le Messie

The Virgin Mary presenting the child Jesus or the Messiah

Terracotta on wood base

84 cm

Private Collection

Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (born Albert-Ernest Carrier de Belleuse; 12 June 1824 – 4 June 1887) was a French sculptor. He was one of the founding members of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and was made an officer of the Legion of Honour. He began his training as a goldsmith’s apprentice. He was a student of David d’Angers and briefly studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. His career is distinguished by his versatility and his work outside France: in England between 1850 and 1855, and in Brussels around 1871. His name is perhaps best known because Auguste Rodin worked as his assistant between 1864 and 1870. The two travelled to Brussels in 1871, and by some accounts Rodin assisted Carrier-Belleuse’s architectural sculpture for the Brussels Stock Exchange.

Carrier-Belleuse made many terra cotta pieces, the most famous of which may be The Abduction of Hippodameia depicting the Greek mythological scene of a centaur kidnapping Hippodameia on her wedding day. He was also made artistic director at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres in 1876. More Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse

Madonna with child, Florence XIXth century 

High relief in marble

36 xx 55 cm

Dimensions: 36 xx 55 cm

Private Collection

Demeter H. Chiparus, 1886 – 1947

Saint Therese de Lisieux

Gilded bronze and carved ivory on cream-coloured marble base

Height: 21.5 cm.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (French: Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux), born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin (2 January 1873 – 30 September 1897), also known as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was a Roman Catholic French Discalced Carmelite nun widely venerated in modern times. She is popularly known as “The Little Flower of Jesus” or simply “The Little Flower”.

Thérèse has been a highly influential model of sanctity for Catholics and for others because of the “simplicity and practicality of her approach to the spiritual life”. Together with Saint Francis of Assisi, she is one of the most popular saints in the history of the church. Pope Pius X called her “the greatest saint of modern times”.

Thérèse felt an early call to religious life, and overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, she became a nun and joined two of her elder sisters in the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy. After nine years as a Carmelite, having fulfilled various offices such as sacristan and assistant to the novice mistress, and having spent her last eighteen months in Carmel in a night of faith, she died at aged 24, following a slow and painful fight against tuberculosis.

Thérèse is well known throughout the world, with the Basilica of Lisieux being the second-largest place of pilgrimage in France after Lourdes. More Saint Thérèse of Lisieux 

Demétre Haralamb Chiparus (16 September 1886 – 22 January 1947) was a Romanian Art Deco era sculptor who lived and worked in Paris, France. He was one of the most important sculptors of the Art Deco era. Also known as Dumitru Chipăruş, he was born in Dorohoi, Romania. In 1909 he went to Italy, where he attended the classes of Italian sculptor Raffaello Romanelli. In 1912 he traveled to Paris to attend the Ecole des Beaux Arts to pursue his art at the classes of Antonin Mercie and Jean Boucher.  Chiparus died in 1947, suffering a stroke on returning from studying animals at the zoo in Vincennes. He was buried in Bagneux Cemetery, just south of Paris. More Demétre Haralamb Chiparus 

Acknowledgement: Artcurial, HAMPEL, and others

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If you enjoyed this post, please share with friends and family.

20 Menological Orthodox Calendar Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, #17

Some Saints and Feasts of the Orthodox Christian Church

“As the prophets beheld, as the Apostles have taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers have dogmatised, as the Universe has agreed, as Grace has shown forth, as Truth has revealed, as falsehood has been dissolved, as Wisdom has presented, as Christ awarded, thus we declare; thus we assert, thus we preach Christ our true God, and honour His Saints in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in Churches, in Holy Icons; on the one hand worshiping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord; and on the other hand honouring as true servants of the same Lord of all and accordingly offering them veneration.”  Synodikon of Sunday of Orthodoxy

Icon of Chetyi-Minei (calendar of saints)

In the very center is the Resurrection of Christ surrounded by scenes from Holy Week and the feasts of the Paschal cycle. Around them are twelve groupings of saints: one for each month of the calendar year. In the border are icons of the Theotokos (Mother of God), each of which has a feast day during the liturgical year. More Chetyi-Minei 

Name days are a Greek Orthodox tradition. The Orthodox Church dedicates each day of the year to a martyr or saint, and the day is named after him or her in the Greek Orthodox faith. It’s also a Greek tradition to name children for saints. Those named for saints are expected to imitate their namesakes’ lives so that saint’s name day calls for quite a celebration.

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

THE MONTH OF JANUARY,c. early 19th century

Tempera on wood panel with kovcheg. On four registers, starting from the upper left corner, displayed are the saints and events commemorated in the Orthodox calendar

 52.8 x 43.9 cm.

Private collection

Menology; a record of saints, arranged in the order of a calendar.

St. Basil the Great (1 January)

St. Gregory Nazianzen (1 and 25 January)

St. Seraphim of Sarov (2 January)

The Seventy (4 January)

The Theophany (Epiphany) of Christ (6 January)

Synaxis of St. John the Baptist and Forerunner of Christ (7 January)

St. Sava of Serbia (14 January)

St. Paul the hermit of Thebes (15 January)

St. John Kalyvites (15 January)

St. Anthony the Great (17 January)

St. Athanasius the Great (18 January)

St Timothy the Apostle (22 January)

Venerable Joseph the Sanctified (22 January)

St Xeni (24 January)

St Gregory Theologian (25 January)

St Xenophon, Maria and sons (26 January)

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

 MONTH OF FEBRUARY, c. early 19th century

Tempera on wood panel with kovcheg

53 x 44.4 cm.

Private collection

St Tryphon (1 February)

Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple (2 February)

St. Photios the Great (Patriarch of Constantinople; 6 February)

Sts Barsanuphius and John (Holy Fathers; 6 February)

St. Charalambos the Wonder-worker (10 February)

St. Blasios (11 February)

St. Zacharias (Patriarch of Jerusalem; 21 February)

St Eustathios of Antioch (21 February)

St. Polycarp (Bishop of Smyrna; 23 February)

St. Photini, The Samaritan Woman (Great Martyr and Equal to the Apostles; 26 February)

St Kyranna of Thessaloniki (28 February)

MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

 MONTH OF FEBRUARY, c. late 19th century

Tempera on wood panel. Painted in sombre colours on a silvered background, covered by a golden lacquer

35.6 x 31.3 cm.

Private collection

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

 FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, c. late 18th century

Tempera on wood panel

44 x 35.8 cm.

Private collection

St. Eudokia, Holy Martyr (1 March)

The Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebastia (9 March)

St. Symeon the New Theologian (12 March)

St Alexios, Man of God (17 March)

St Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland (17 March)

The Annunciation of the Holy Theotokos (25 March)

St. Gregory Palamas (27 March)

St. Matrona (27 March)

St. John Climacus (30 March and 4th Sunday of the Great Lent)

St. Innocent (31 March and 23 September)

MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

MONTH OF MARCH, c. late 19th century

Tempera on wood panel. Painted in sombre colours on a silvered background, covered by a golden lacquer

35.7 x 31 cm.

Private collection

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

MONTH OF APRIL, c. early 19th century

Tempera on wood panel with kovcheg

52.7 x 43.9 cm.

Private collection

St. Lazarus Of Bethany (Lazarus Saturday, the Saturday before Palm Sunday)

St. Mary of Egypt (1 April and Fifth Sunday of Great Lent)

Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene (Bright Tuesday)

Sts Agape, Irene and Chione (Virgin-martyrs; 16 April)

St. Alexandra (21 April)

St. George the Great Martyr (23 April)

St. Mark the Apostle and Evangelist (25 April)

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

THE MONTH OF MAY, c. 18th century

Tempera on wood panel. The background made of silver, covered by a golden lacquer. The facial features executed in brown with shades of red

52.6 x 43 cm.

Private collection

Coming of the Holy Spirit – the Feast of Pentecost

All Saints day (1st Sunday after Pentecost)

St. Xenia (3 May)

St. Theodore of Sykeon (5 May)

Holy Apostle St. John the Evangelist (8 May)

St. Glykeria (13 May)

St Pachomios the Great (15 May)

St. Nicholas (Bishop of Myra; Translation of Relics 20 May)

Sts Constantine and Helene (21 May)

St John the Russian (27 May)

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Central Russian, Palekh

THE MONTH OF MAY, circa 1800 

Tempera on wood panel on a gold ground

The panel is divided into four registers showing the Feasts and Saints’ Days for the month of May

The figures rendered with classical proportions, their faces painted in great detail, the garments opulently adorned with gold patterns

35.8 x 30.7 cm.

Private collection

MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian,

MONTH JUNE WITH TWELVE IMAGES OF THE MOTHER OF GOD, circa 1880

Tempera on wood panel, executed on a gold ground. The upper and lower frame made of interlaced patterns

35.5 x 30.9 cm.

Private collection

St. Kalliope the Martyr (8 June)

The Day of the Souls (on Saturday)

Sts Theophanes and Pansemne (10 June)

Miraculous Icon of “Axion Esti” (11 June)

Nativity of St. John the Baptist and Forerunner of Christ (24 June)

Holy Apostles Sts Peter and Paul (29 June)

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

 FOR THE MONTH OF JULY, c. early 19th century

Tempera on wood panel with kovcheg

53 x 43.8 cm.

Private collection

St. Andreas (4 July)

St. Prokopios (Great Martyr; 8 July )

St Pankratios (9 July)

St. Euphemia (Great Martyr; 11 July )

Archangel Gabriel (13 July)

St Cyril of Crete (14 July)

Great martyr, St Marina (17 July)

St. Macrina the younger (19 July)

Prophet Elijah (Elias) (20 July)

St Mary Magdalene, Equal to the Apostles (22 July)

St. Anna (Dormition of the Mother of the Theotokos; 25 July)

St. Paraskevi (26 July)

St. Panteleimon (All-Merciful and Great Martyr; 27 July)

St Silas, Silvanos, Apainetos and Crescens (of the Seventy; 30 July)

MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

THE MONTH OF JULY, c. late 19th century

Tempera on wood panel. Painted in sombre colours on a silvered background, covered by a golden lacquer

35.5 x 31 cm.

A MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian, 

THE MONTH OF AUGUST, c. late 19th century

Tempera on wood panel. Painted in sombre colours on a silvered background, covered by a golden lacquer

35.6 x 31 cm.

Private collection

Transfiguration (Metamorphoses) of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (6 August )

St Ioseph (6 August)

Dormition (Falling-asleep) of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary (15 August)

St Stamatios the New Martyr (16 August)

Sts Eutychlos and Eutychlanos Cassiane (17 August)

St Irenaeus of Lyons(23 August)

St. Kosmas of Aitolia (24 August)

St. Titus (25 August)

St Charalambos of Crete (28 August )

Beheading of the Baptist and Forerunner St. John (29 August)

St. Alexander (Patriarch of Constantinople; 30 August)

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, c. early 19th century

Tempera on wood panel with kovcheg

53 x 43.8 cm.

Private collection

Indiction – beginning of Church year (1 September )

St. Symeon the Stylite (1 September)

St. John the faster (2 September)

Nativity of the Theotokos (8 September)

Sts Joachim and Anna (parents of the Theotokos; 9 September)

Feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross (14 September)

Sts Faith, Hope, and Charity and their Mother Sophia (September 17)

Holy Protomartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles Thekla (September 24)

Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist St. John the Theologian (26 September)

Holy Apostle and Evangelist St. John the Theologian (26 September, 8 May)

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Central Russian

 FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, c.1st half 19th century

Tempera on wood panel. Executed in great detail on a gold ground

44.3 x 37 cm.

Private collection

Sts Cyprian and Justina, Holy Martyrs (2 October)

St. Dionysius the Areopagite (3 October)

Holy Apostle St. Thomas (6 October and Thomas Sunday)

St Pelagia (October 8)

St. Lazaros (17 October)

Holy Apostle and Evangelist St. Luke (18 October)

Holy Apostle St. James the Just (23 October)

St. John of Kronstadt (19 October)

St. Justin the Martyr (20 October)

St. Hilarion the Great (21 October)

St. Dimitrios the Great Martyr (26 October)

St. Timotheos the Esphigmenitis (29 October)

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian,

THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, c. late 19th century

Tempera on wood panel. The background made of silver, covered by a golden lacquer.

44 x 37.4 cm.

Private collection

Archangels (8 November)

St. Nektarios the Wonderworker (Metropolitan of Pentapolis; 9 November)

St. John Chrysostom (Archbishop of Constantinople; 13 November, and January 1, 27 and 30)

Holy Apostle St. Matthew (16 November)

St. Gregory the Wonderworker (17 November)

Presentation of the Virgin Mary to the Temple (21 November)

Great Martyr St. Catherine (25 November)

St. Stylianos (26 November)

Holy Apostle St. Andrew (30 November)

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Greek

 FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, c. 18th century

Tempera on wood panel. Figures shown against a gold background

59 x 43.3 cm.

Private collection

MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

 FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, c. 19th century

Tempera on wood panel with kovcheg, on a gold ground

35 x 31.2 cm

Private collection

LARGE MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian

 FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, c. early 19th century

Tempera on wood panel with kovcheg

53 x 43.2 cm

Private collection

St. John Damascene (4 December)

St. Barbara (4 December)

St. Sabbas the Sanctified (5 December)

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (6 December)

St. Ambrose (Bishop of Milan; 7 December)

St. Spyridon (12 December)

St. Eleutherios (15 December)

St Dionysios of Zakynthos, the Wonder-Worker (17 December)

St Sebastian the martyr (18 December)

Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (25 December)

St. Stephen, the First Martyr (27 December)

The Holy Infants (29 December)

MENOLOGICAL ICON, Russian, 

THE MONTH OF DECEMBER WITH TEN IMAGES OF THE MOTHER OF GOD, c. 2nd half 19th century

Tempera on wood panel, executed on a gold ground

31.5 x 26.7 cm

Private collection

Acknowledgement: Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen DüsseldorfOrthodox Christian Churchand others


Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others


We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.


If you enjoyed this post, please share with friends and family.

14 Icons, Small Byzantine & Russian Icons, from the 4th – 15th Century with footnotes, #15

A SILVER-MOUNTED STEATITE ICON, Byzantine

THE HODIGITRIA MOTHER OF GOD, 10th-12th century

Carved in half-length and supporting a Child on her left hip

3.5 x 2.9 cm.

Soapstone

Private Collection

A Hodegetria is an iconographic depiction of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) holding the Child Jesus at her side while pointing to Him as the source of salvation for humankind. In the Western Church this type of icon is sometimes called Our Lady of the Way.

The most venerated icon of the Hodegetria type, regarded as the original, was displayed in the Monastery of the Panaghia Hodegetria in Constantinople, which was built specially to contain it. Unlike most later copies it showed the Theotokos standing full-length. It was said to have been brought back from the Holy Land by Eudocia, the Empress of Theodosius II (408–450), and to have been painted by Saint Luke. The icon was double-sided, with a crucifixion on the other side, and was “perhaps the most prominent cult object in Byzantium”.

The original icon has probably now been lost, although various traditions claim that it was carried to Russia or Italy. There are a great number of copies of the image, including many of the most venerated of Russian icons, which have themselves acquired their own status and tradition of copying. More A Hodegetria

A STEATITE ICON, Byzantine

 ST. NICHOLAS OF MYRA , 10th-12th century

His name incised in the background

Soapstone

H. 3,3 cm.

Private Collection

Saint Nicholas (15 March 270 – 6 December 343), also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.

The historical Saint Nicholas, as known from strict history: He was born at Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor. In his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area. Shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra and was later cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian. He was released after the accession of Constantine and was present at the Council of Nicaea.

He was buried in his church at Myra, and by the 6th century his shrine there had become well-known. In 1087 Italian sailors or merchants stole his alleged remains from Myra and took them to Bari, Italy; this removal greatly increased the saint’s popularity in Europe, and Bari became one of the most crowded of all pilgrimage centres. Nicholas’s relics remain enshrined in the 11th-century basilica of San Nicola at Bari. More of Saint Nicholas

A STEATITE ICON,  Post-Byzantine

ST. NICHOLAS OF MYRA, 15th century 

The saint carved in low relief shown frontally bust-length

Soapstone

3.9 x 3.5 cm. 

Private Collection

A SILVER-MOUNTED GLASS CAMEO, Byzantine, Constantinople or Venice

ST. THEODORE KILLING THE DRAGON, 12th/13th century

Blue pâte de verre

3,6 x 2,9 cm

Private Collection

Theodore Stratelates is a martyr and Warrior Saint venerated with the title Great-martyr in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches.

There is much confusion between him and St. Theodore of Amasea and they were in fact probably the same person, whose legends later diverged into two separate traditions.

Theodore came from the city of Euchaita in Asia Minor. He killed a giant serpent living on a precipice in the outskirts of Euchaita. The serpent had terrorized the countryside. Theodore armed himself with a sword and vanquished it. According to some of the legends, because of his bravery, Theodore was appointed military-commander (stratelates) in the city of Heraclea Pontica, during the time the emperor Licinius (307–324) began a fierce persecution of Christians. Theodore himself invited Licinius to Heraclea, having promised to offer a sacrifice to the pagan gods. He requested that all the gold and silver statues of the gods which they had in Heraclea be gathered up at his house. Theodore then smashed them into pieces which he then distributed to the poor.

Theodore was arrested and subjected to torture and crucified. His servant Varos (also venerated as a saint), witnessed this and recorded it. In the morning the imperial soldiers found him alive and unharmed. Not wanting to flee a martyr’s death, Theodore voluntarily gave himself over again into the hands of Licinius, and was beheaded by the sword. This occurred on 8 February 319, on a Saturday, at the third hour of the day. More Theodore Stratelates

 

A HEMATITE INTAGLIO, Byzantine,

SOLOMON, 4th/5th century 

Incised showing Solomon on horseback killing the Antichrist

Soapstone

2.7 x 2.4 cm.

Private Collection

Solomon was, according to the Bible, a fabulously wealthy and wise king of Israel and a son of David, the previous king of Israel. The conventional dates of Solomon’s reign are circa 970 to 931 BC, normally given in alignment with the dates of David’s reign. He is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, which would break apart into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah shortly after his death. Following the split, his patrilineal descendants ruled over Judah alone.

According to the Talmud, Solomon is one of the 48 prophets. In the Quran, he is considered a major prophet, and Muslims generally refer to him by the Arabic variant Sulayman.

The Hebrew Bible credits him as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem. It portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power beyond any of the previous kings of the country, but ultimately as a human king who sinned. His sins included idolatry, marrying foreign women, and ultimately turning away from Yahweh, and led to the kingdom’s being torn in two during the reign of his son Rehoboam. Solomon is the subject of many other later references and legends, most notably in the 1st-century apocryphal work known as the Testament of Solomon. In later years, in mostly non-biblical circles, Solomon also came to be known as a magician and an exorcist, with numerous amulets and medallion seals dating from the Hellenistic period invoking his name. More Solomon

A STEATITE ICON, Byzantine, 

ST. THEODORE Byzantine, 10th-12th century

The saint shown frontally half-length holding a spear. 

Soapstone

2.2 x 2.1 cm

Private Collection

A STEATITE ICON, Byzantine, 

ST. THEODORE, 12th century

The name of the saint incised in the background.

Soapstone

4.4 x 3.7 cm

Private Collection

A DOUBLE-SIDED HORN MEDALLION, Russian

THE MOTHER OF GOD AND ST. BASIL THE GREAT, early 16th century 

6.4 x 5.2 cm.

Private Collection

From antiquity, Mary has been called “Theotokos”, or “God-Bearer” (Mother of God). The word in Greek is “Theotokos”. The term was used as part of the popular piety of the early first millennium church. It is used throughout the Eastern Church’s Liturgy, both Orthodox and Catholic. It lies at the heart of the Latin Rite’s deep Marian piety and devotion. This title was a response to early threats to ‘orthodoxy’, the preservation of authentic Christian teaching. A pronouncement of an early Church Council, The Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., insisted “If anyone does not confess that God is truly Emmanuel, and that on this account the holy virgin is the “Theotokos” (for according to the flesh she gave birth to the word of God become flesh by birth) let him be anathema.” (The Council of Ephesus, 431 AD). More Mother of God

Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (329 or 330 – January 1 or 2, 379), was the Greek bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea. His ability to balance his theological convictions with his political connections made Basil a powerful advocate for the Nicene position.

In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. Basil established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer, and manual labour. He is remembered as a father of communal monasticism in Eastern Christianity. He is considered a saint by the traditions of both Eastern and Western Christianity. More Basil of Caesarea

A DOUBLE-SIDED HORN MEDALLION, Russian

THE BAPTISM, THE CRUCIFIXION AND TWO SAINTS, early 16th century

8.8 x 5.9 cm.

Private Collection

Baptism is a Christian sacrament of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally. The canonical Gospels report that Jesus was baptized —a historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Baptism has been called a holy sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ. In some denominations, baptism is also called christening, but for others the word “christening” is reserved for the baptism of infants. More Baptism

The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st century Judea, most probably between the years 30 and 33 AD. Jesus’ crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, and is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources, although, among historians, there is no consensus on the precise details of what exactly occurred. More on The crucifixion

A DOUBLE-SIDED HORN MEDALLION, Russian

THE LAST SUPPER AND THE DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD, circa 1500 

Carved in relief. Restored. 

Diam. 6.5 cm.

Private Collection

The Last Supper is the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as “Holy Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper”.

The four canonical Gospels all state that the Last Supper took place towards the end of the week, after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and that Jesus and his Apostles shared a meal shortly before Jesus was crucified at the end of that week. During the meal Jesus predicts his betrayal by one of the Apostles present, and foretells that before the next morning, Peter will deny knowing him.

The three Synoptic Gospels and the First Epistle to the Corinthians include the account of the institution of the Eucharist in which Jesus takes bread, breaks it and gives it to the Apostles, saying: “This is my body which is given for you”. The Gospel of John does not include this episode, but tells of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles, giving the new commandment “to love one another as I have loved you”, and has a detailed farewell discourse by Jesus, calling the Apostles who follow his teachings “friends and not servants”, as he prepares them for his departure.

Scholars have looked to the Last Supper as the source of early Christian Eucharist traditions. Others see the account of the Last Supper as derived from 1st-century eucharistic practice as described by Paul in the mid-50s. More on The Last Supper

The Dormition of the Mother of God is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the “falling asleep” or death of Mary the Theotokos (“Mother of God”), and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. More The Dormition

 

A DOUBLE-SIDED HORN MEDALLION, Russian

THE NATIVITY AND THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST, circa 1500

Engraved

5.1 x 5.3 cm.

Private Collection

The nativity of Jesus or birth of Jesus is described in the gospels of Luke and Matthew. The two accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the time of Herod the Great to a betrothed virgin whose name was Mary. There are, however, major differences. Matthew has no census, annunciation to the shepherds or presentation in the Temple, implies that Jesus’s parents’ home is Bethlehem, and has him born in a house there, and has an unnamed angel appear to Joseph to announce the birth. In Luke there are no Magi, no flight into Egypt, or Massacre of the Innocents, Joseph is a resident of Nazareth, the birth appears to take place in an inn instead of the family home, and the angel (named as Gabriel) announces the coming birth to Mary. While it is possible that Matthew’s account might be based on Luke or Luke’s on Matthew, the majority of scholars conclude that the two are independent of each other.

In Christian theology the nativity marks the incarnation of Jesus as the second Adam, in fulfillment of the divine will of God, undoing the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam. The artistic depiction of the nativity has been a major subject for Christian artists since the 4th century. Since the 13th century, the nativity scene has emphasized the humility of Jesus and promoted a more tender image of him, as a major turning point from the early “Lord and Master” image, affecting the basic approaches of Christian pastoral ministry. More on The nativity

The crucifixion of Jesus, see above

SILVER-GILT PENDANT ICON,  Russian

THE SMOLENSKAYA MOTHER OF GOD, 16th century

Silver, cast and gilt. Set with cabochons

Greek inscription ‘

6.1 x 5 cm.

Private Collection

The Mother of God Smolenskaya Icon is where the Mother of God is depicted from the waist up holding the Christ child. Christ is portrayed in an erect frontal pose, blessing with his right hand and holding a closed scroll in his left. More Mother of God Smolenskaya

SMALL ICON, Russian

THE PROTECTING VEIL OF THE MOTHER OF GOD, circa 1500

Carved wood, metal mount decorated with filigree and set with semi-precious stones

5.8 x 4.6 cm

Private Collection

In the tenth century, in the church of the Blachernae in Constantinople, there was a festival service. It was at a time of difficulty for the Byzantine empire because of the invading Slavs. At this festal service, on the first of October, the feast of the holy hymnographer Romanos, according to the Life of St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ, who’s a canonized saint in the Orthodox tradition, he was in the church also with a friend of his, Epiphanios, a friend of his who’s also numbered among the saints.

While they were praying, Andrew had this vision of Christ’s mother, Mary, praying in the church and covering the church with her veil and protecting the people. With her were John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, and, in fact, all of the ranks of the prophets and apostles and bishops and saints were seen. The revelation was that the Theotokos was interceding and praying with all of the saints for the Church on earth. More on the veil

METAL SPHRAGIS (SEAL), Russian

THE DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD, circa 1900

Before baking, each prosphoron is stamped with this special seal

12.4 cm high, Diam. 8.5 cm

Private Collection

In Orthodox Christianity, prosphoron has come to mean specifically the bread offered at the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist).

Acknowledgement: Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf, and others

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.

If you enjoyed this post, please share with friends and family.