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  • Two-sided Icon: 'The Virgin of the Sign' and 'St George and the Dragon'

    Technique:
    tempera on panel
    Dimensions:
    129,5x46,5 cm

Two-sided Icon: 'The Virgin of the Sign' and 'St George and the Dragon'

Russia, First half of the 16th century

On the front of this portable processional two-sided icon, painted in the first half of the 16th century, is The Virgin of the Sign, with St George and the Dragon on the reverse. The Virgin of the Sign was one of the most common images of the Virgin in Russian Orthodox art. Such icons show the Virgin waist-length with hands raised in prayer (known also as the Virgin Orante), and the Saviour (Christ Emmanuel) placed frontally against her breast. The type was particularly revered by the inhabitants of the northern town of Novgorod, who saw the icon of The Virgin of the Sign as the protector of the town. According to legend, this icon miraculously saved Novgorod during a siege by warriors from the rival town of Suzdal, headed by Prince Andrei Bogoliubsky, in 1170. A master from the northern Russian town of Kargopol painted this icon but he took as his guide the traditions of Novgorod painting. A very similar processional icon is reproduced in three famous Novgorod icons of the 15th century showing the famous battle between the Novgorodians and the Suzdalians. Processional icons are carried in front of the religious processions which form part of some Orthodox services.

Title:

Two-sided Icon: 'The Virgin of the Sign' and 'St George and the Dragon'

Place:

Technique:

tempera on panel

Dimensions:

129,5x46,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1957; handed over from the Lyadinsky village council, Kargopolsky District, Arkhangelsk Oblast

Inventory Number:

ЭРИ-232

Category: