Stroganov School is a conventional name for the last major Russian icon-painting school, which thrived under the patronage of the rich Stroganov family of merchants in the late 16th and 17th century.
“Stroganov School” owes its name to frequent mentioning of the Stroganovs on the markings on the back of the icons of Yemelyan Moskvitin, Stefan Pakhirya, Prokopy Chirin, Istoma, Nazariy, and Nikifor Saviny. Most of these icon painters, however, did not belong to the Stroganov School. They were icon painters from Moscow and executed commissions by the tsar. Many of their works were eventually acquired by the Stroganovs, who had been known as connoisseurs of sophisticated craftsmanship.
The works of art of the Stroganov School have quite a few features in common, such as small size, diminutiveness, refined palette, density of paint layers, graphic precision of details, fragile characters’ postures and gestures, richness of their vestments, and complicated landscape background. More on the Stroganov School
The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia refers to victims of persecution of Christians in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) by the Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian in the early 4th century AD.
At this time the bishop of the city of Nicomedia was Saint Cyril, whose preaching had greatly contributed to the spread of the Gospel…