The

Temple Gallery

Established 1959

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

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YY007. Crucifixion with Virgin and Child, God the Father, Saint Nicholas, Archangel Michael and Saint George

Russian, Kholui
19th century
37.8 x 30.6 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£1,250Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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The panel is separated into four sections by a cross-shape. In the centre of the panel Christ is shown crucified at Golgotha. Above him in a celestial cloud is God the Father blessing the scene. At top-left we see the Virgin of Kazan, top right is St Nicholas portrayed as a bishop in half-length, below is the Archangel Michael of the Apocalypse on a red horse and to the right St George, on a white horse, slaying the dragon.

This icon was painted in Kholui,[1] which, along with Palekh and Mstera, was an icon painting centre that produced icons on an industrial scale (sometimes hundreds of icons a day)[2] for pilgrims and the peasantry and was influenced by contemporary Russian folk art. They are simple, humble works, yet 'these popular icons can exude great charm and sincerity', as Wendy R. Salmond writes about the Kholui school.[3]

The current version is very close to another Kholui icon of the same subject in the D. Ekonomopoulos Collection housed in the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki (fig. a).


Fig. a. Crucifixion with Virgin and Child, God the Father, Saint Nicholas, Archangel Michael and Saint George, Russian, Kholui, 19th century, D. Ekonomopoulos Collection, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece

A further comparison can be made with another Crucifixion in four parts – but with different typologies surrounding the main image - from a Kholui workshop in the Hillwood Museum in Washington (fig. b).


Fig. b. Crucifixion in our parts, Kholui, 1800-1900, Hillwood Gallery, Washington, US




Footnotes:-
1. For more information on Kholui and its icon-painting workshops, see Oleg Tarasov, Icon and Devotion: Sacred Spaces in Imperial Russia, (London, Reaktion Books, 2002), esp. Chapter 6, ‘Icons and Popular Art’
2. Wendy R. Salmond, Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs, (Washington, Hillwood Galleries, 2004), p. 57
3. Ibid. p. 59