Quadripartite Icon

SKU PF.5753
Circa

18th Century AD to 19th Century AD

Dimensions

15.75″ (40.0cm) high

Medium

Wood

Origin

Russia

Gallery Location

UK


 

Inseparable from the liturgical tradition, religious art is seen by Orthodox Christians as a form of pictorial confession of faith and a channel of religious experience. Because the icons provide direct personal contact with the holy persons represented on them, these images were objects of veneration, in either a public or private setting, and were even believed to have the ability to heal. The composition of this icon has been divided into four equal partitions. The upper left panel features The Virgin of the Burning Bush. Here, the Virgin is contained within a blue diamond, surround by angels contained in clouds that rotate around the Virgin. Smaller scenes are depicted in the four corners, including Moses and the burning bush in the top left and Jacob’s ladder in the bottom right. Moving clockwise, the next panel represents the Old Testament Trinity Prefiguring the Incarnation, one of the most popular Biblical scenes in Russian iconography. Next, St. Panteleymon the Healer is represented holding a spoon in one hand and his medicine box in the other. The final panel represents scenes from the life of Elijah. Stylistically, much of the painting is derived from earlier Byzantine icons and mosaics including the linear fold of the figures’ drapery and the solid, gold leaf back ground symbolic of the light of heaven. Above all, this holy icon was meant to be venerated and meditated upon. It could both heal the sick and bring the faithful that much closer to god. Inseparable from the liturgical tradition, religious art is seen by Orthodox Christians as a form of pictorial confession of faith and a channel of religious experience. Because the icons provide direct personal contact with the holy persons represented on them, these images were objects of veneration, in either a public or private setting, and were even believed to have the ability to heal.

The composition of this icon has been divided into four equal partitions. The upper left panel features The Virgin of the Burning Bush. Here, the Virgin is contained within a blue diamond, surround by angels contained in clouds that rotate around the Virgin. Smaller scenes are depicted in the four corners, including Moses and the burning bush in the top left and Jacob’s ladder in the bottom right. Moving clockwise, the next panel represents the Old Testament Trinity Prefiguring the Incarnation, one of the most popular Biblical scenes in Russian iconography. Next, St. Panteleymon the Healer is represented holding a spoon in one hand and his medicine box in the other. The final panel represents scenes from the life of Elijah. Stylistically, much of the painting is derived from earlier Byzantine icons and mosaics including the linear fold of the figures’ drapery and the solid, gold leaf back ground symbolic of the light of heaven. Above all, this holy icon was meant to be venerated and meditated upon. It could both heal the sick and bring the faithful that much closer to god.

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