Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Virgin and Child - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

S003. Virgin and Child
Egypt, 6th or 7th century
48 x 23 cm Click here to convert metric size to imperial
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Detail images from this icon may be viewed by clicking on one of the links below.

1. The Virgin's head

2. The Child

(The following is an extract from the catalogue 'MASTERPIECES OF EARLY CHRISTIAN ART AND ICONS')

3. Virgin and Child

7th century
Wax encaustic on linen laid on modern panel
Dimensions: 48 x 23 cm
Panel: 53.5 x 29.5 cm

Cat no 3. Photo taken before cleaning


Joseph Jonas Collection; Collection Dr Andreas Pittas. According to the auctioneer Jacques Desamais who auctioned the collection of the late Joseph Jonas in Avignon in June 2003, the collection was formed 'fifty years ago after the Scond World War'.


The first impression of this piece was of an archaic object, very dark and fragile. The edges of the linen backing onto which the paint had been applied were frayed. Various small areas of modern restoration were visible.

The painting was crudely tacked with animal glue onto a modern support made of a rectangular piece of cardboard covered in a linen cloth. Once a facing had been applied to the front, the painting was removed from the modern support and turned over revealing various crude restorations and patches some of which were holding the piece together. The painting has also been relined in the distant past. This relining was consolidated and re-adhered to the original backing in some small areas where it was detaching. The crude patches were replaced. General consolidation was then carried out, the facing removed from the front, and the paint surface cleaned. [L.M.]

The full article, by Robin Cormack, can be read in the published catalogue 'MASTERPIECES OF EARLY CHRISTIAN ART AND ICONS'.