2 Dec 2009
KOSTROMA, CIRCA 1700
101 by 95 cm.
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Icona volto del mister, Milan, 1991, pp. 98-99, pl. 20.
This icon belongs to the most detailed type of the Resurrection and Descent into Hell iconography. Despite the significant size of the icon, which must have served as the patronal feast image in a large church, the number of scenes accompanying the Resurrection are rather scarce. In the top left corner are the Crucifixion and the Deposition; to the right, behind the walls of Paradise, the Good Thief is conversing with the Forefathers; in the bottom right corner is the Appearance of Christ to the Apostles at the Sea of Galilee. The conversation between Christ and the Good Thief in Paradise in the righthand part of the icon-field is a rare feature of this type of iconography. The overall composition of the icon is also unusual, with the close and dense crowd of angels descending to the Holy Sepulchre. The rhythm of their movement is repeated by the group of the Righteous, who follow the Good Thief up, to the salvific gates of Paradise. Their way begins from the fiery mandorla of Christ, who, having trampled down the gates of Hell, raises Adam and the Forefathers, to salvation from the Mouth of Hell, leading them to the new blessed life.
The accomplished iconographic technique of the icon is echoed by its artistic style, aligning it with the art of the Kostroma masters. Although the colours of the panel are atypical for that region, its draftsmanship; the rendering of the drapery, the architecture, and particularly the coral-like upward projections of the mountains; and the niello ornamentation over the gilded details all suggest an attribution to Kostroma.
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.