MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions 1-2 Dec 2010

1 Dec 2010

Artist Index / Full Catalogue


NOVGOROD REGION, MID 16TH CENTURY

611. THE PROTECTING VEIL OF THE MOTHER OF GOD (POKROV)

NOVGOROD REGION, MID 16TH CENTURY

63 by 44 cm
20,000-30,000 GBP


The subject of the icon is based on a text of the Life of the Holy Fool, Andrei Yurodivy describing the miraculous vision in the church of the Theotokos at Blachernae. The holy fool of Constantinople and his disciple Epiphanius saw the Theotokos appear in the church, accompanied by John the Divine, John the Forerunner and many saints, pray before the altar, then take off her maphorion (veil) and spread it over the congregation. In Rus, the Feast of the Protection was established in the 12th century and for the Mother of God’s protection and intercession of all mankind and Russia.

This icon has typical Novgorod iconography of the Pokrov. It is very close to an early 16th century Pokrov icon from the Russian Museum (previously in the collection of M.P. Pogodin). The Theotokos depicted in the Orant pose, hands raised in prayer, stands "on air" inside a church with five cupolas. Above her head, angels stretch out a cinnabar-coloured veil. The composition is distinguished by its severity and precision. There are two distinct rows, in the upper row are saints and angels and in the lower, accompanying the Theotokos, are John the Forerunner, John the Divine and angels and the witnesses to the miracle, Andrei Yurodivy pointing upwards and his disciple Epiphanius. The action takes place in the interior of a church. This historic artefact is distinguished by the characteristic Novgorodian colours used in icon painting, creating a festive impression which relates directly to the people’s love of the Feast of the Pokrov.


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.