Russian icon | Virgin ‘In Thee Rejoiceth'

Icon: Virgin ‘In Thee Rejoiceth' K-3

Russia, second half 16th century
Tempera on panel, 26.3 x 21.1 cm

Provenance:
Private collection, France
Morsink Icon Gallery, Amsterdam
ALR Ref. No: S00202156

Bibliography:
Unpublished
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The icon illustrates the first words of the hymn ‘In Thee Rejoiceth’, which is dedicated to the Mother of God and sung during the liturgy of St Basil the Great. The iconography emerged towards the end of the 15th century and became widespread during the 16th century. The Mother of God is depicted enthroned in the centre, holding the Christ Child on her lap with both hands, encircled by a large blue aureole which is surrounded by angels. The author of the hymn, St John of Damascus, a Byzantine saint of the 8th century who fought against iconoclasm, is shown holding an open scroll, below at the foot of the throne,. To the left, St John the Forerunner, represented with wings as the ‘Angel of the Desert’, is holding an open scroll as well. The heavenly part of the scene is set against the background of the garden of paradise, represented with trees and a large multi-domed church. The lower part is set against an ochre coloured rocky background. Several groups of saints, like patriarchs, prophets, kings, holy hierarchs, martyrs, monks and nuns, together representing the whole human race, are raising their hands in prayer, while glorifying the Mother of God.