MacDougall Auctions 2-3 December 2009

2 Dec 2009

Artist Index / Full Catalogue


POVOLZHIE (YAROSLAVL REGION), END OF THE 17TH CENTURY

10. THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST

POVOLZHIE (YAROSLAVL REGION), END OF THE 17TH CENTURY

67 by 45 cm.
20,000-30,000 pounds



The composition of this icon, which used to be a part of the Church Feasts Tier of an iconostasis, is based on the version of the Nativity of Christ iconography established in the Yaroslavl icon-painting tradition in the second half of the 17th century. Its characteristic features are the posture of the Virgin, seated on a raised vermillion bed and venerating Christ the Infant; the depiction of the Magi bringing gifts; the separation of Joseph, who is seated on a stone in a cave while pensively listening to the shepherd elder standing outside; and the appearance of the maid washing the Infant (usually depicted in a cave) in the lower corner.

While reproducing the conventional elements of this iconographic scheme, the artist reinterprets the scene in his own way, making it more domestic and lifelike. The painting betrays the provincial origin of the master, who simplifies the composition by depicting the caves and the gnarled silhouettes of the figures in a more geometrical way. He also simplifies the rendering of the faces, the décor of the vestments and other details. The traditions of Yaroslavl are apparent in the fine finishing of the trees and the herbage on the ground, as well as in the artist’s love of red and green colours.


Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.