Russian Icon of the Resurrection, with the Passions of Christ

Russian Icon of the Resurrection, with the Passions of Christ

The featured Russian icon of the Resurrection is distinguished for its complex iconographic and stylistic composition traditional for the Imperial period. Not only does it consist of the common Feast cycle, but it also features the cycle of the Passions of Christ, which together equal 28 border scenes. The piece was created at the end of the 19th century in one of the famous villages of the Vladimir region – Mstyora or Kholuy. It consists of four wooden panels, with the master’s paintwork preserved in good condition. Let’s take a better look at the composition and explore the historical context in which it existed.

Russian icon of the Resurrection, with the Passions of Christ

The given icon’s composition includes two scenes of the Resurrection – the Rising from the Tomb and the Harrowing of Hades. They are connected by a diagonal processional of the Pious and the scene of Jesus’ Appearance to Seven Disciples by the Sea of Galilee. This Russian icon of the Resurrection seems to have a centerpiece mixed with the exterior frame of Festive scenes and the depictions of the Passion narrative. In a nutshell, their combination depends on a variety of factors and takes root in a range of sources, from medieval iconographic samples to Western European sketches.

The upper tier of the Russian icon of the Resurrection starts with the image of the Nativity of the Mother of God and is separated by the other scene of the Old Testament Trinity. As for the lower tier, it comprises four minor Feasts such as the Elevation of the Holy Cross, the Pokrov of the Mother of God, the Beheading of John the Baptist, and the Fiery Ascent of the Prophet Elias. You should also pay attention to the corners where you will see the Four Evangelists: Luke, Mark, Matthew, and John.

The given Russian icon of the Resurrection is a great example of hand-painted icons produced in the villages of the Vladimir region on a mass scale. You can notice it by the following characteristics: highly-standardized painting style, the conventionalism of execution, and the implementation of popular iconographic schemes. The style reflects the late religious art of the 19th century. At the time, iconographers only started imitating the ornamentations of oklad covers that they saw in the Easter Orthodox icons of higher level. The curious fact: the decorative ornamentation that you can clearly see in the icon was inspired by the motives of the 17th-century Russian architectural illustrations and depictions.