Saturday, November 26, 2016

15 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 32

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, c. 1603
Oil on panel
Height: 107 cm (42.13 in.), Width: 146 cm (57.48 in.
Bildergalerie - Sanssouci  (Germany - Potsdam)

A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.

In art, the episode (formally called the Incredulity of Thomas) has been frequently depicted since at least the 5th century, with its depiction reflecting a range of theological interpretations. More

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 in Caravaggio – 18 July 1610) was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on Baroque painting.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan under Simone Peterzano who had himself trained under Titian. In his twenties Caravaggio moved to Rome where there was a demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time. It was also a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art that was tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism. Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic, even theatrical, use of chiaroscuro which came to be known as tenebrism (the shift from light to dark with little intermediate value).
He gained attention in the art scene of Rome in 1600 with the success of his first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew. Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success poorly. He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death sentence pronounced against him by the Pope after killing a young man, possibly unintentionally, on May 29, 1606. He fled from Rome with a price on his head. He was involved in a brawl in Malta in 1608, and another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. This encounter left him severely injured. A year later, at the age of 38, he died under mysterious circumstances in Porto Ercole in Tuscany, reportedly from a fever while on his way to Rome to receive a pardon.
Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. More

Lawrence Alma-Tadema
The Finding of Moses 1904
Oil on canvas
54 1/8 x 84 inches (137.5 x 213.4 cm)
Private collection

Finding of Moses. The book of Exodus (2:5) recounts how a Hebrew woman saved her infant son from Pharoah's massacre of Hebrew children by placing him in a basket on the Nile. Pharoah's daughter, while bathing on the banks of the river, found the child, adopted him, and named him Moses. More

The painting includes a number of archaeologically precise objects and inscriptions, the results of Tadema's diligent research. After Tadema spent two years working on the painting, his wife pointed out wryly that the infant Moses was now a toddler, and need no longer be carried.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, OM, RA (8 January 1836 – 25 June 1912) was a Dutch painter of special British denizenship.

Born in Dronrijp, the Netherlands, and trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium, he settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life there. A classical-subject painter, he became famous for his depictions of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire, with languorous figures set in fabulous marbled interiors or against a backdrop of dazzling blue Mediterranean Sea and sky.

Though admired during his lifetime for his draftsmanship and depictions of Classical antiquity, his work fell into disrepute after his death, and only since the 1960s has it been re-evaluated for its importance within nineteenth-century English art. More

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) 
The Adoration of the Magi
Oil on panel
20 x 15 1/4in.
Private Collection


The Adoration of the Magi (anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate Latin section title: A Magis adoratur) is the name traditionally given to the subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him. More

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. More

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640)
A queda dos Anjos Rebeldes
The Fall of the Rebel Angels
Oil on canvas
81 x 65 cm
Private Collection

The Fall of the Damned, conversely known as The Fall of the Rebel Angels is a monumental religious painting by Peter Paul Rubens. It features a jumble of the bodies of the damned, hurled into abyss by archangel Michael and accompanying angels.

The sketch of The Fall of the Damned was made in black and red chalks, with a grey wash and is kept in the British Museum. It is assumed to be the work of a studio assistant, while Rubens then went over the drawing with brush and oil colour.[4] The dramatic chiaroscuro of the human forms and clouds emphasizes the darkness into which these figures fall, far from the heaven light above. More

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640), see above

STUDIO OF ADRIAEN ISENBRANT (FLEMISH, 1490-1551)
TRIPTYCH. CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN
OIL ON OAK PANEL
Center panel  H. 14" x 10"
Private Collection


The Coronation of the Virgin or Coronation of Mary is a subject in Christian art, especially popular in Italy in the 13th to 15th centuries. Christ, sometimes accompanied by God the Father and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, places a crown on the head of Mary as Queen of Heaven. In early versions the setting is a Heaven imagined as an earthly court, staffed by saints and angels; in later versions Heaven is more often seen as in the sky, with the figures seated on clouds. The subject is also notable as one where the whole Christian Trinity is often shown together, sometimes in unusual ways. Although crowned Virgins may be seen in Orthodox Christian icons, the coronation by the deity is not. Mary is sometimes shown, in both Eastern and Western Christian art, being crowned by one or two angels, but this is considered a different subject. More


STUDIO OF ADRIAEN ISENBRANT (FLEMISH, 1490-1551)
TRIPTYCH. CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN
OIL ON OAK PANEL
Left Outer Panel
14" x 3 3/4

STUDIO OF ADRIAEN ISENBRANT (FLEMISH, 1490-1551)
TRIPTYCH. CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN
OIL ON OAK PANEL
Right Outer Panel
14" x 3 3/4



Adriaen Isenbrandt (or Adrien, Isenbrant, Ysenbrant, Ysenbrandt or Hysebrant; between 1480 and 1490 – July 1551) was a Flemish Northern Renaissance painter, who from documentary evidence was clearly a significant artist of his period, but to whom no specific works can be clearly documented. As hypothesised by art historians, he ran a large workshop specializing in religious subjects and devotional paintings, painting conservatively in the tradition of Early Netherlandish painting. He was believed by Georges Hulin de Loo to be the same person as the anonymous Master of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin or Pseudo-Mostaert. Other art historians doubt that any works can be reliably attributed to him, and the number of paintings attributed to him by major museums has been in decline for many decades. More

Edmund Blair Leighton, (21 September 1852 – 1 September 1922) 
The blind man at the Pool of Siloam, c. 1879
Oil on canvas
Right Outer Panel
14" x 3 3/4


The blind man at the Pool of Siloam. Jesus meets a man born blind. To show that He is indeed the “light of the world” (John 9:5), Jesus heals the man.  “He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ . So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. More

Edmund Blair Leighton (21 September 1852 – 1 September 1922) was an English painter of historical genre scenes, specializing in Regency and medieval subjects.


Leighton was the son of the artist Charles Blair Leighton. He was educated at University College School, before becoming a student at the Royal Academy Schools. He was a fastidious craftsman, producing highly finished, decorative pictures, displaying romanticized scenes with a popular appeal. It would appear that he left no diaries, and though he exhibited at the Royal Academy for over forty years, he was never an Academician or an Associate. More


Hans von Aachen, (1552 – 4 March 1615)
The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on panel
31 1/2 x 41 1/4in.
Private Collection


The Adoration of the Shepherds, in the Nativity of Jesus in art, is a scene in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, arriving soon after the actual birth. It is often combined in art with the Adoration of the Magi, in which case it is typically just referred to by the latter title. The Annunciation to the Shepherds, when they are summoned by an angel to the scene, is a distinct subject. More

Hans von Aachen (1552 – 4 March 1615) was a German painter who was one of the leading representatives of Northern Mannerism. He was a versatile and productive artist who worked in many genres. He was successful as a painter of princely and aristocratic portraits, and further painted religious, mythological and allegorical subjects. Known for his skill in the depiction of nudes, his eroticized mythological scenes. He also painted a number of genre paintings of small groups of figures shown from the chest upwards, laughing, often apparently using himself and his wife as models. Von Aachen usually worked on a small scale and many of his works are cabinet paintings on copper.

The life and work of Hans von Aachen bear unique witness to the cultural transfer between North, South and Central Europe in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. After training in the tradition of Netherlandish Renaissance painting the artist moved to Italy in 1574, where he remained for about 14 years, mainly working in Venice. He returned in 1587 to his native Germany, where he took up residence in Munich in Bavaria. His final years were spent in Prague. The combination of the Netherlandish realism of his training and the Italian influences gained during his travels gave rise to his unique painting style. More


Flemish School, 16th Century
Christ Casting Out a Demon from a mute Man
Oil on panel
37 3/4 x 20 1/2in.
Private Collection


Matthew 9:32 and 33 states, “As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, ‘It was never seen like this in Israel!’ But the Pharisees said, ‘He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.’”

Flemish painting flourished from the early 15th century until the 17th century. Flanders delivered the leading painters in Northern Europe and attracted many promising young painters from neighbouring countries. These painters were invited to work at foreign courts and had a Europe-wide influence. Since the end of the Napoleonic era, Flemish painters had again been contributing to a reputation that had been set by the Old Masters. More

John Riley Wilmer, (1883 - 1941)
Asenath, daughter of the priest of On, c. 1921
Watercolor over pencil on artist board
11 1/2 x 9in (29.2 x 22.8cm)
Private Collection

Asenath, Asenith and Osnat is a figure in the Book of Genesis (41:45, 41:50-52). An Egyptian woman who Pharaoh gave to Joseph, son of Jacob, to be his wife. The daughter of Potipherah, a priest of Heliopolis, she bore Joseph two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, who became the patriarchs of the Israelite tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim.

Modern scholarship says her name derives from the Egyptian language name "she who belongs to (the goddess) Neith". More

John Riley Wilmer, (1883 - 1941) was a watercolourist, painter (gouache); of religious subjects, figures, genre scenes.

Four paintings by this artist were exhibited at the 150th Anniversary Exhibition at the RCPS in Falmouth (1983). He is credited with a triptych in the Warrior Chapel of Falmouth Parish church. In September 1900 he exhibited at the RCPS,

John Riley Wilmer studied with Charles Napier Hemy and was in contact with Henry Scott Tuke and Thomas C. Gotch. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1911 to 1926 and apparently lived in Falmouth. More

PAUL CHOCARNE-MOREAU, (FRENCH, 1855-1931)
Depicts two young boys, one dressed as a baker the other dressed as an altar boy in the vestry of a church
Oil on canvas laid down on masonite
H 24", W 20"
Private Collection

PAUL CHOCARNE-MOREAU (FRENCH, 1855-1931)Born in Dijon, Chocarne Paul Moreau entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris , where he was a pupil of Tony Robert-Fleury and William Bouguereau . He began to show for French artists from 1882 and exhibited quite regularly from that date .

Chocarne Moreau specializes in genre painting. He depicts scenes of Parisian life whose heroes are generally young boys from popular backgrounds (young apprentices-confectioners, chimney sweepers, choirboys, schoolchildren) engaging in all sorts of jokes. Witness of his time, he painted works such as On the barricade he exhibits in 1909. salon You could see in him a precursor of Norman Rockwell . More

Édouard Detaille, 1848 – 1912
A halt in the village
Oil on panel
24 3/4 x 17 1/4in (62.8 x 43.8cm)
Private Collection

Jean-Baptiste Édouard Detaille (Paris 5 October 1848 – 23 December 1912 Paris) was a French academic painter and military artist noted for his precision and realistic detail. He was regarded as the "semi-official artist of the French army".

Detaille grew up in a prosperous military family in Picardy; his grandfather had been an arms supplier for Napoleon. An amateur artist who was friends with a number of collectors and painters, including Horace Vernet, Detaille's father encouraged his son's artistic endeavors. He began his artistic studies at age seventeen under the famous military painter Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier; he had originally approached him to ask for an introduction to the renowned Alexandre Cabanel but Meissonier decided to teach Detaille himself. Meissonier became a major influence on his style, and it was he who inculcated an appreciation for accuracy and precision in Detaille.

Detaille made his debut as an artist at the Salon—the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts—of 1867 with a painting of Meissonier's studio. At the Salon of 1868, he exhibited his first military painting, The Drummers Halt, which was based solely on his imagination of the French Revolution. With Repose During the Drill, Camp St Maur, which he debuted the following year, Detaille established his reputation as a painter. In the spring of 1870, he went on a "sketching trip" to Algeria with three other young painters, Étienne-Prosper Berne-Bellecour, Alexander Louis Leloir, and Jehan Georges Vibert. More

Estella Canziani, (12 January 1887 – 23 August 1964) 
Satan awakening his legions, c. 1913
Gouache and gold
17 1/4 x 22 1/4in (43.7 x 56.5cm)
Private Collection

John Milton,Paradise Lost. In the first book, Milton announces the subject of the poem, Man's disobedience and the loss thereupon of Paradise. The poem opens in the midst of things, after the war in Heaven but before the fall of Adam and Eve. Satan and his multitude of angels have been cast out of Heaven and into the Deep for rebelling against God and are chained on the burning lake in Hell. Satan awakens his legions of angels, comforting them in their dejected state by offering them hope of reclaiming Heaven. More

Estella (Louisa Michaela) Canziani (12 January 1887 – 23 August 1964) was a British portrait and landscape painter, an interior decorator and a travel writer and folklorist. Born in London, Estella Canziani was the daughter of the painter Louisa Starr and Enrico Canziani (1848–1931), an Italian civil engineer. She lived all her life in the family home at 3 Palace Green, in the grounds of Kensington Palace.

She trained as an artist, studying first at the 'Copernicus', a Kensington school run by Sir Arthur Cope and Erskine Nicol, then at the Royal Academy schools. She exhibited at the RA London, Liverpool, Milan, Venice and France. Her most famous work was a water colour entitled The Piper of Dreams, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1915. Reproductions of the work are said to rivalled Holman Hunt's The Light of the World in popularity.

She travelled extensively throughout Europe, particularly in Italy. Her paintings document the clothes and lifestyle of the local people living in remote villages in Northern Italy. She also worked as a book illustrator.

She published three travel books: Costumes, Traditions and Songs of Savoy (1911), Piedmont (1913) and Through the Apennines and the Lands of the Abruzzi (1928), her writings gaining her membership of the Royal Geographical Society. She published a number of articles in the journal of the Folklore Society. She also published an autobiography: Round About Three Palace Green (1939).

A large part of her collection is preserved in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Canziani was a Quaker and member of the Royal Society of British Artists, Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, Society of Painters in Tempera, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Folklore Society. More

C Mercié, 19TH CENTURY, FRENCH
EVE
Oil on canvas
196 by 101cm., 77¼ by 39¾in.
Private Collection

Marius Jean Antonin Mercié (Toulouse October 30, 1845 – December 13, 1916 Paris), was a French sculptor and painter. Mercié entered the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and studied under Alexandre Falguière and François Jouffroy, and in 1868 gained the Grand Prix de Rome at the age of 23. His first great popular successes were the David and Gloria Victis, which was shown and received the Medal of Honour of the Paris Salon. The bronze was subsequently placed in the Square Montholon.

The bronze David was one of his most popular works. The Biblical hero is depicted naked with the head of Goliath at his feet like Donatello's David, but with a turbanned head and sheathing his long sword. Numerous reproductions exist, most of which incorporate a loincloth that covers David's genitalia but not his buttocks. The lifesize original is now in the Musée d'Orsay.

Mercié was appointed Professor of Drawing and Sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts, and was elected a member of the Académie française in 1891, after being awarded the biennial prize of the Institute of 800 in 1887. He was subsequently elected to grand officier of the Légion d'honneur, and in 1913 became the president of the Société des artistes français. Marie-Antoinette Demagnez was among his many students at the École des Beaux-Arts. More




Acknowledgement: DuMouchelles

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

20 Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, 7

THE APOSTLE PETER
Jerusalem, 19th century
Mother of pearl
18.8 x 15 cm
Private collection

Saint Peter (AD 30; d. between AD 64 and 68), also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, or Simōn, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. He is also the "Apostle of the Apostles", an honor 3rd-century theologian Hippolytus of Rome gave him, and the Roman Catholic Church considers him to be the first pope, ordained by Jesus in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew 16:18. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and associate him with founding the Church of Antioch and later the Church in Rome, but differ about the authority of his various successors in present-day Christianity.

Originally a fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus's inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, and preached on the day of Pentecost.

According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds that he was crucified at the site of the Clementine Chapel. More

THE ADORATION OF CHRIST 
Jerusalem, dated 1877 
Silver, chased and embossed and set with mother of pearl.
13 cm high
Private collection

THE ADORATION OF CHRIST. The fourteenth-century mystic Saint Bridget of Sweden recounted Christ's birth after experiencing a vision. The "great and ineffable light" she described as emanating from the Child is the center of this icon. The portrayal of this divine splendor allowed painters to convey the mystical aura of the event. More

F. APATIN
A BRASS TRIPTYCH SHOWING ST. SERGEY OF RADONEZH AND SELECTED SAINTS 
Russian, circa 1900 
Oil on brass
16.5 x 20 cm 
Private collection

Venerable Sergius of Radonezh (Russian: 14 May 1314 – 25 September 1392), was one of the foremost Russian saints and mystics. Born to a noble family near Rostov, he was christened Bartholomew. At the age of fifteen, he fled with his family to Radonezh, near Moscow, to escape a campaign against Rostov by the rulers of Moscow. As their wealth was all but wiped out, the family became peasant farmers until 1335 when, after the death of his parents, he and his brother Stephen became hermits at Makovka. Stephen left to become a monk, and Sergius received a tonsure from a local abbot. Increasingly well-known as a profoundly spiritual figure in the Russian wilderness, he attracted followers and eventually organized them into a community that became the famed Holy Trinity Monastery. He was ordained at Pereyaslav Zalesky. Serving as abbot, he thus restored the great monastic tradition which had been destroyed some time before during the Mongol invasions of Russia. Sergius was soon joined by Stephen, who opposed his stern cenobitical regulations and caused Sergius to leave the community and to become a hermit again. As his departure brought swift decline to the monastery, Sergius was asked to return by none other than Alexis, metropolitan of Moscow. As he was respected by virtually every segment of society, Sergius was consulted by Prince flirnitry Donskoi of Moscow encouraging the ruler to embark upon the campaign against the Mongols which culminated in the triumphant Battle of Kulikovo (1380), thus breaking the Mongol domination of Russia, Sergius sought to build upon this victory by promoting peace among the ever-feuding Russian princes and building monasteries; in all he founded around forty monastic communities. In 1378 he declined the office of Metropolitan, resigning his abbacy in 1392 and dying six months later on September 25, Canonized in 1449, he is venerated as the fore-most saint in Russian history. More

A SET OF FIVE SILVER PLAQUES FROM A BINDING SHOWING THE RESURRECTION AND THE EVANGELISTS
Balkan, c. 18th century
Silver, chased, embossed and engraved
mounted on a wood panel
37.5 x 25.3 cm
Private collection

Italian School, 20th Century
The Madonna and Child 
oil on gold ground panel
32.8 x 25.2cm (12 15/16 x 9 15/16in).
Private collection

The figure group above is based on Matteo di Giovanni's work, now in Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (below). More

Matteo di Giovanni, Italian, c. 1430 - 1497
Madonna and Child with Angels and Cherubim, c. 1460/1465
Tempera on panel
9 x 58 cm (31 1/8 x 22 13/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art

This panel is enriched with gold; Matteo has framed his mother and child with angels and cherubim, but the surrounding figures crowd each other and overlap, creating several different planes in the picture space. Matteo's child, unlike the formal and regally clad boy, is an infant who grasps his mother's fingers. Their contact is direct—a caress under the chin—and their emotional tie more explicit. The mood, however, is one of wistful melancholy, expressed in the Virgin's lowered eyelids and reflected in the faces of the angels. The crowding of the figures and the disembodied heads of the cherubim contribute an unsettling sense of foreboding. Matteo's later paintings are marked by violent emotion. More

Matteo di Giovanni di Bartolo (c. 1430 – 1495) was an Italian Renaissance artist from the Sienese School. He was born in Borgo Sansepolcro, then is family relocated to Siena and he is firmly associated with the art of that city.

Documentation concerning the early phases of Matteo's life and career as an artist is scanty and nothing is recorded about his apprenticeship. In 1452, Matteo entered into partnership with the painter Giovanni di Pietro, and the two shared living quarters. Matteo, at this time, is recorded as having colored and gilded a sculpture of the Archangel Gabriel by the celebrated Sienese sculptor Jacopo della Quercia. Matteo and Giovanni also collaborated in the embellishment of organ shutters in the Siena Cathedral and in the decoration of the San Bernardino Chapel in that cathedral.

Matteo was selection as one of four Sienese painters who were to furnish altarpieces for the chapels of the Pienza Cathedral erected as part of the urban renewal of the town. For this prestigious commission Matteo painted three altarpieces, dating to the years 1460-62.

During his mature period, Matteo began to paint idyllic and naturalistic landscape scenes employing delicate, lyrical colors derived from the Umbrian school of painting. Matteo's brand of eclecticism tended to evolve from local taste and tradition. For this reason it is not surprising to find him producing delicate, sweet panels of the Madonna and Child, such as the panel from the Kress Collection now in the Columbia Museum of Art, depicting the Madonna and child with Saints Sebastian and Catherine of Siena, at almost the same moment that he was painting Judith with the Head of Holofernes (c.1490) now in the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington and the horrific events of The Massacre of the Innocents.

Matteo di Giovanni died in Siena in 1495. He is credited with teaching Guidoccio Cozzarelli (1450-1516/17) of Siena, an altarpice painter and miniaturist. More

FOUR ICON PENDANTS WITH SILVER OKLAD
Russian, Moscow, circa 1900 
Oil on metal. Overlaid with engraved silver oklads
Marked with city hallmark, assayer's mark, 84
4-7.2 cm high
Private collection

Comprising the Mother of God of the Sign, the Dormition of the Mother of God, St. Panteleimon und St. Seraphim of Sarov

Antique Russian Icon
Depicting Jesus Between two Saints
mixed metal overlay. 
Size: 7 x 6 inches
Private collection

Kuzma Konov,
A gem-set silver-gilt icon of Christ Pantocrator,  Moscow, 1908-1917
26 by 22.3cm, 10 5/8 by 8 3/4 in.


In Christian iconography, Christ Pantocrator refers to a specific depiction of Christ. Pantocrator, or Pantokrator, is used in this context, a translation of one of many names of God in Judaism.

When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek as the Septuagint, Pantokrator was used both for YHWH Sabaoth "Lord of Hosts" and for El Shaddai "God Almighty". In the New Testament, Pantokrator is used once by Paul. Aside from that one occurrence, John of Patmos is the only New Testament author to use the word Pantokrator. The author of the Book of Revelation uses the word nine times, and while the references to God and Christ in Revelation are at times interchangeable, Pantokrator appears to be reserved for God. More

Kuzma Konov was a silversmith and jeweller active in Moscow from 1891 until the Revolution, in 1917. He began as an apprentice and worked his way up, ascending to master and employing close to ninety craftsmen at the peak of his productivity. He was a favourite of the Imperial family, who avidly purchased his icons. His works can be found at the Museum of History of Religion in St Petersburg, at the Historical Museum and at the Armouries in Moscow, and at the Kaluga Regional Museum of Local Lore, located about 100 miles south-south-west of Moscow. More

MINIATURE ICONs SHOWING THE APOSTLES STS. PETER AND PAUL
SILVER OKLAD AND FOUR SILVER AND ENAMEL TRIPTYCHS
Russia, Moskau, 1896-1908 (Petrus und Paulus
Hälfte 20. Jh. (Triptycha) Russian, Moscow, 1896-1908
4.5-6.6 cm high
Private collection

Oil on wood panel. Overlaid with a silver oklad. Marked with assayer's mark, 84 standard and master's mark. The silver and champlevé enamel triptychs bearing spurious Russian hallmarks. 

Dmitri Smirnov, Moscow, 1908-1917
 Christ Pantocrator, c. Moscow, 1899-1908
A parcel-gilt silver and enamel icon
26.8 by 22.3cm, 10 1/2 by 8 3/4 in.

 Christ Pantocrator, see above

Yaroslavskaya Mother of God, Moscow, circa 1895
Fabergé gem-set silver-gilt and enamel icon
32.3 by 28.5cm; 12 3/4 by 11 1/4 in.

The Yaroslavskaya Icon of the Mother of God entered the city it is named after in the 13th century. The original has not survived, but the proliferation of its copies in subsequent centuries attests to the icon’s popularity. It arrived in Yaroslavl at a difficult time, when the region was besieged by a series of Tatar-Mongol invasions, and became a prominent source of consolation and focus for prayer. Its oldest known version, from 1466, is part of the Tretyakov Gallery collection in Moscow. More

The Annunciation, Russia, 16th century
Tempera on panel, with silver basma
31.5 by 26.5cm, 12 3/8 by 10 3/8 in.

The Annunciation referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Yehoshua , meaning "YHWH is salvation".

According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred "in the sixth month" of Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist. Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, an approximation of the northern vernal equinox nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday of Jesus. In England, this came to be known as Lady Day. It marked the new year until 1752. The 2nd-century writer Irenaeus of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus as 25 March coinciding with the Passion. More

The Dormition, Russia, 17th century
Tempera on panel
32 by 26.5cm, 12 5/8 by 10 3/8 in

The Dormition of the Mother of God  is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of Mary the Theotokos ("Mother of God", literally translated as God-bearer), and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on August 15 (August 28, N.S. for those following the Julian Calendar) as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. More

Doubting Thomas, Russia, circa 1700
Tempera on panel
31.5 by 28cm, 12 3/8 by 11in.

A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.

In art, the episode (formally called the Incredulity of Thomas) has been frequently depicted since at least the 5th century, with its depiction reflecting a range of theological interpretations. More

Eleousa Mother of God,
flanked by two Warrior Saints and two Bishops, Greece, 18th century
Tempera on panel
35 by 45cm, 13 3/4 by 17 3/4 in.

The Eleusa (tenderness or showing mercy) is a type of depiction of the Virgin Mary in icons in which the infant Jesus Christ is nestled against her cheek. In the Western church the type is often known as the Virgin of Tenderness. More

The Virgin Enthroned 
surrounded by Prophets and The Virgin of the Burning Bush, Greece, 18th century
Tempera on panel
54 by 45cm, 21 1/4 by 17 3/4 in

The Virgin Enthroned symbolizes the mystery of the incarnation of Christ made man and the glory of the Mother of God. This justifies the intense expression of the countenances, the solemn attitudes of the Saints present at the glory of the Mother of God, the awed attention of the Archangels who "behold" the mystery of the incarnation. More
The subject of Our Lady of the Burning Bush is based on the Old Testament prophecy of the incarnation of Christ. Such theologians as St Gregory of Nyssa and Theodoret of Cyrrhus regarded Moses’s vision of the burning bush as a symbol and prototype of the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception.

The iconography of the scene was inspired by the Russian Orthodox hymns comparing the Virgin to the burning bush seen by Moses – engulfed in flames, yet not burning (Exodus 2:1–6). Icons of the subject were popular from the sixteenth century onwards and were believed to offer protection from fire. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the festival of the icon on 4/17 September, which is also the day of Moses. More

Warrior Saint Dimitrios, Greece, circa 1700
Tempera on panel
44.5 by 36.5cm, 17 1/2 by 14 3/8 in.

Saint Dimitrios. The city of Thessaloniki suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans, and Demetrios was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city. Hence later traditions about Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army, and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr. Unsurprisingly, he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages. More

St Nicholas, Russia, circa 1700
Tempera on panel, from a Deisis
89.5 by 30.5cm, 35 1/4 by 12in

Saint Nicholas (15 March 270 – 6 December 343), also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.

The historical Saint Nicholas, as known from strict history: He was born at Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor. In his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area. Shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra and was later cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian. He was released after the accession of Constantine and was present at the Council of Nicaea. 

He was buried in his church at Myra, and by the 6th century his shrine there had become well-known. In 1087 Italian sailors or merchants stole his alleged remains from Myra and took them to Bari, Italy; this removal greatly increased the saint’s popularity in Europe, and Bari became one of the most crowded of all pilgrimage centres. Nicholas’s relics remain enshrined in the 11th-century basilica of San Nicola at Bari. More

Circle of Icilio Federico Ioni, (Siena 1866-1946)
The Madonna and Child 
Tempera on gold ground panel
25.6 x 18.1cm (10 1/16 x 7 1/8in).
Private collection

Italian School, 20th Century
The Madonna and Child
oil on panel, shaped top 
76.2 x 60.2cm (30 x 23 11/16in).
Private collection





Acknowledgement: Sotheby's

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