• Icon: "The Mandylion (Image of Edessa)" and "The Lamentation of the Virgin (Do not cry for Me, Mother)"

    Technique:
    tempera
    Dimensions:
    134,5x87,5 cm

Icon: "The Mandylion (Image of Edessa)" and "The Lamentation of the Virgin (Do not cry for Me, Mother)"

Russia, 15th - 16th century

It was probably a 16th-century master from the ancient Russian town of Tver who produced this icon, but analysis has shown that beneath the 16th-century painting is an earlier icon of the late 14th or early 15th century. In Old Russian art such two-part icons with these two subjects were very rare and may have been derived from portable icons. The Vernicle (not made by hands) occupies the upper part. According to Orthodox tradition, this image of Christ was miraculously imprinted on a piece of cloth for King of Edessa Abgar, who was seriously ill. The artist, whom Abgar had sent to depict the face of Christ, proved unequal to his task. Then Christ washed his face, wiped it with a piece of cloth on which its impression was left and gave it to the artist. Abgar kissed the image with faith and his disease was cured. The Vernicle (from vera icona, meaning "true image") was one of the most hallowed icons in Russia, where it signified the preserver and bringer of victory, as a result of which it was often hung on city gates and painted on banners carried into war. In the lower part is a scene known in Western European art as the Pietà (lamentation of the Virgin over the body of Christ). It derives from a combination of two scenes, the Crucifixion and the Deposition (the removal of Christ's body from the Cross). Such compositions may have appeared in Russia via links with the Balkans, particularly Serbia. In the 15th century the links between the art of Tver and that of the Balkans were particularly close.

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Title:

Icon: "The Mandylion (Image of Edessa)" and "The Lamentation of the Virgin (Do not cry for Me, Mother)"

Place:

Material:

Technique:

tempera

Dimensions:

134,5x87,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1962; received from the State Hermitage expedition sent to identify and collect works of ancient Russian art in different parts of the Kalinin (Tver) Region in 1961

Inventory Number:

ЭРИ-489

Category: