Novgorod School, c. 1500: A highly important large Russian iconostasis church icon depicting the Archangel St. Mikhail. 127.5×55 cm.
A highly important large and Russian iconostasis church icon from a Deesis row depicting the Archangel St. Mikhail in full length. Tempera on wood panel with a kovcheg. Novgorod School, c. 1500. 127.5×55 cm.
A typically Russian element in the church is the iconostasis, introduced in the thirteenth century in Novgorod, now some 300 kilometres to the southeast of St Petersburg. A wall of icons separating the altar from the nave, and thereby from worshippers, the iconostasis quickly became a canonical, or official, part of the Russian Orthodox church interior. The area of the church around the altar, known as the sanctuary, is considered the most sacred part of the building and may only be entered by the clergy. In the Byzantine church, chancel and nave were separated by a templon, or sanctuary rail. Its evolution in Russia into a closed wall of icons prevented worshippers from even looking at the altar. The iconostasis comprises rows of icons, arranged according to a set theological order, and a number of openings or sets of doors.
Exhibited: The Archbishop’s Palace Museum in Trondheim 1999.
Provenance: Acquired by Richard Zeiner-Henriksen 1922–1931 in St. Petersburg.
Related ex.: The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, and the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery Museum, Yaroslavl.
Thickness of panel 34 mm.
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Russian art & icons, 9 June 2017
- Price realised