Antique Russian Icon of the Resurrection, with 12 Feast Scenes
The featured antique Russian icon of the Resurrection and its complex iconography originated in the middle of the 17th century and grew in popularity in the next two centuries. Such type of religious works is distinguished for their stylistic freedom, as icon painters often disregarded the strict compositional principles. The icon that you can see was painted in Central Russia in the second half of the 18th century, with the silver oklad made by V. S. Semenov’s workshop in Moscow in 1852. Nowadays, the artwork is an indispensable part of our collection where Resurrection icons constitute a majority.
Antique Russian icon of the Resurrection, with 12 feast scenes
First and foremost, the given antique Russian icon of the Resurrection focuses on the scene of the “Harrowing of Hades,” while the “Rising from the Tomb” can be seen in the upper left corner. The depiction of the latter replicates the scheme found in the Piscator Bible, which indicates the master’s adherence to Western European art. A banner in Christ’s hand and a colorful stone wall of the New Jerusalem are some other proofs of western traits.
The shapes, energetic poses, and heavily built characters can be explained by the presence of stylistic components of the Baroque style. It was widely popular among different layers of Russian society, even though Classicism was the most prevalent and popular movement. As said before, the given antique Russian icon of the Resurrection was painted in the second half of the 18th century. Back then, Baroque started losing its spark in terms of aesthetics, so the icon may be considered the remnant of the past glory.
The silver oklad for this hand-painted icon was commissioned several decades later. V. S. Semenov’s workshop, which was responsible for its creation, specialized in silversmith, engraving, and embossing, so oklads for religious icons were commonly produced goods. The workshop was located on Kaluzhskaya Street in Moscow and reached its peak of fame in the 1870s. But what is truly special is that the featured oklad is one of the first commissions of the masters. It also follows Baroque-style patterns, such as natural motifs, and repeats some of the religious icon art traditions of the previous century. It is not surprising that the given antique Russian icon of the Resurrection and the silver oklad coexist so harmonically – both in compositional and stylistic terms.