Russian Orthodox Icon of the Resurrection in a Silver Oklad Cover
The featured hand-painted Russian Orthodox icon of the Resurrection is one of the precious gems of our collection. It consists of two multi-scene cycles containing the images of the Church Feasts, Passions of Christ, the Evangelist, and the Monogenes, among others. The piece is enclosed in a silver oklad cover, which stresses the subtle craftsmanship and visual symbolism of religious artwork. It is also worth noting that the master’s paintwork is in a pristine condition, with only some fragments of restoration visible. Considering the fact that it was painted circa the second quarter of the 19th century, it is amazing that the piece doesn’t have any major condition problems.
Russian Orthodox icon of the Resurrection in a silver oklad cover
The Russian Orthodox icon of the Resurrection – the Harrowing of Hades features two cycles: the Festive Cycle and the Passion Cycle. Together, they reflect major events of the liturgical year. Such works are commonly attributed to Palekh icon painters, whose technique and style were deeply influenced by the traditions of the 17th century.
As common for a Russian Orthodox icon of the Resurrection, the centerpiece of the work is occupied by the scenes of the “Rising from the Tomb” and “The Harrowing of Hades.” Both can be found along a vertical line and are visually connected by the procession of the Pious marching into Heaven. The entire central part is surrounded by two earlier-mentioned cycles. The inner cycle includes 12 Passion scenes, while the outer has 15 Festive scenes. The latter begins with the scene of the Nativity of the Mother of God and ends with the Elevation of the Holy Cross. These are the starting and ending chronological points of the liturgical year that should not be confused with the regular calendar year.
This Russian Orthodox icon is also one of the fine examples of Palekh religious art. Pay attention to the tiny details finalized by a master through miniature painting. Clear composition, refined proportions of the figures, and the vestment’s gold overlay are good indicators that the icon originated in the first half of the 19th century, not earlier. The silver oklad cover, in which the work is enclosed, was made in 1846 in St. Petersburg by the famous master silversmith Ignatii Fedorovich Chekalin. It is one more proof that the featured Russian Orthodox icon of the Resurrection was completed in the second quarter of the century.