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Exhibited 19th C. Russian Icon, Mother of God 4 Images

$5,095.00
Russia, ca. 19th century CE. Four images of the Mother of God icon, each presenting a slight variation on the theme, with a Crucifixion between the lower pair, the severed head of John the Baptist between the upper pair, three angels enjoying the hospitality of Abraham above, and six saints occupying the side borders - all finely delineated in egg tempera and gold leaf on wood. Size: 10.5" W x 12.5" H (26.7 cm x 31.8 cm)

The iconography of this icon is particularly complex, including four Virgin and Child depictions, a Crucifixion with God the Father above, the skull and crossbones on Golgotha below, a mourning figure, the head of John the Baptist, and the three angel pilgrims of the Old Testament who appeared to Abraham and Sarah. The symbolism of John the Baptist is multilayered, as he is regarded as the Angel of the Desert who baptized his disciples in the waters of the River Jordan, the final and greatest of Old Testament prophets as well as the first saint, and the forerunner of Jesus Christ. Imagery of his severed head stems from when King Herod beheaded John the Baptist to please Salome, daughter of Herodias, the king
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