1 December 2010
KOSTROMA, 17TH CENTURY
Extended 56.5 by 78 cm., closed 56.5 by 38.5 cm
A three-panelled folding triptych with a central icon was a popular type of household shrine in the 17th century and were produced in the Vladimir, middle Volga and Kostroma regions. In our example, the removable icon of the Kazan Mother of God (end of teh 18th century), which replaced the much loved original, is enclosed in a painted frame, between hinged side panels. The meticulous elegance of the composition, the conceptual integrity of the piece as a sacred object, the carefully studied faces, the cladding with its ornamentation (medallions and red corners) are typical of Kostroma icon painting in the second half of the 17th century.
The panels of the triptych would be opened like altar doors, creating the feeling of admission to something secret. In its folded form, the triptych became conveniently ‘transportable’ and a travelling church. The depiction of the ‘New Testament Trinity’ with the Theotokos, John the Forerunner and a host of angels on the central, keel-shaped upper part and the Apostles on the panel frame all carry an important conceptual message which rounds off the composition with aesthetic refinement. The Annunciation is depicted on top of both folds, as on the Royal Doors, emphasing the idea of a domestic shrine for private devotion. This is confirmed by the Menaia groups of saints who are turned in intercession towards the Theotokos. These calendar saints are depicted on three rows with no dividing frame between each month, in accordance with ancient custom.
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.