- Museum number
- Object: The Mother of God Kazanskaya
Icon; painted; the Virgin is portrayed half-length holding Christ at her left. Her head is slightly inclined to the Child who is depicted in an erect frontal pose blessing with his right hand while his left hand is covered by the folds of his 'himation'.
Inscription: in Greek on either side of the Virgin's head: MP OY (Mother of God).
Egg tempera, gesso on wood, silver-gilt and enamelled revetment.
- Production date
Length: 330 millimetres
Width: 265 millimetres
Depth: 23 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This iconographic version of the Virgin and Child, derived from the Byzantine prototype known as the Hodegetria, first appeared in Russia in the second half of the 16th century. According to legend the icon was miraculously revealed in 1579 in the city of Kazan – formerly capital of the Tatars – shortly after the city had been conquered by Tsar Ivan IV ‘the Cruel’. The wonder-working icon was uncovered at the site of a burned out house thanks to a vision which appeared to a girl named Matrona. A monastery was later erected at the site of the house in honour of the icon. This image was glorified in later Russian history as a Holy protector of the country and subsequently became the most widely revered image of the Virgin.
The icon is covered with a 17th-century silver-gilt revetment richly embellished with filigree enamel ornament in blue, yellow and white; the icon is further decorated with a ‘tcata’.
For another icon with this iconography, see cat. no. 49.
Cormack 2007, 105 and 108, figs 68 and 113, no. 2
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017-2018 2 Nov-8 Apr, BM Gallery 35, Living with gods
2015 15 Sep-10 Jan, USA, Norfolk, Chrysler Museum of Art, Byzantium to Russia: The origins and development of Russian icons 1200 to 1900
2015 30 Apr- 22 Aug, USA, Clinton, Museum of Russian Icons, Byzantium to Russia: The origins and development of Russian Icons 1200 to 1900.
- The icon has been restored in the 19th century over fragments of an earlier paint layer.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: IC 2 (Icon Collection number)