Russian icon | Mother of God from a Deesis (with original silver basma)

Icon: Mother of God from a Deesis (with original silver basma) B-11

Northern Russia, mid-17th century
Tempera on panel, 115 x 35 cm

Private collection, The Netherlands, since 1980’s
ALR Ref. No.: 10877.WK

R. Roozemond, De Wijenburgh, Ikon-Maria, 1979, pp. 162, 163; cat. no. 67
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On the icon, the Mother of God is depicted full-length and in three-quarter profile, her hands raised in prayer. She wears a deep purple-brown mantle, a blue tunic and red slippers. The icon used to be part of a Deesis tier in an iconostasis. The word Deesis signifies the Greek concept for ‘prayer’ and ‘intercession’. Traditionally, it refers to the composition in which the Mother of God and St John the Forerunner, shown in three-quarter profile, turn in prayer towards the central Christ Pantocrator. In the iconostases, the icon of the Mother of God is always depicted directly to the left of Christ (that is, at his right hand). 

The icon is painted in a simple and expressive style. The contours of the figure and the fall of the folds of the clothing are indicated with black and white strokes. The colouring of the icon is dominated by warm earth tones.