The

Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Nativity - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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C001. Nativity. 

Greek (Macedonia), dated 1824
Tempera, gold and gesso on wood
Panel (oak): 36.5 x 29.4 x 2.2 cm Click here to convert metric size to imperial
Provenance: Private collection
Condition: Very good
£3,200 [On hold]Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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In accordance with iconographic tradition, only part of the imagery is taken from the gospel of St Luke. The main elements are found in the 3rd century apocryphal Book of James or Protoevangelion and also, according to Leonid Ouspensky (see Lossky and Ouspensky, The Meaning of Icons, Olten 1952), from the Kontakion of the appointed festival. Mary gives birth to Christ in a cave in the desert. On the right we see the journey of the kings; on the left the 'Annunciation to the Shepherds' and on the lower left 'the Temptation of Joseph': the devil, disguised as a shepherd, tempts Joseph regarding the virginity of Mary.

The liturgical feast was developed, both in the west and in the east, by the end of the 4th century. All the main features of the imagery are in place by the 6th century.

Detail Images