An early Russian, unusually large iconostasis Mother of God “Tikhvinskaya” icon. Tempera on wooden panel with “kovcheg”. Russia, 16th century. 113×72 cm.
The iconography of the Tikhvin Mother of God (who protected the city of the same name) has a long history. It developed in Russia in the 15th century as a variant of the more formal Mother of God of Smolensk. This icon is a copy of one of the most famous Russian miraculous images. The miracle-working original was in the Tikhvin Monastery for several centuries until 1941, when the area was occupied by Nazis. Taken to Western Europe, it eventually was brought over the Atlantic, and now is at St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral in Chicago.
Related ex.: The Andrei Rublev Museum of Early Russian Art in Moscow, no. 946.