- Museum number
- Object: The Miracle of the Appearance of the Mother of God to the Sexton Yurysh
Icon; painted; the Mother of God sits on a tree with many branches; in front of her is the kneeling figure of the sexton Yurysh with, behind him, St Nicholas in bishop's clothing. Above the tree, in clouds, is Christ Emmanuel with both hands raised in a gesture of benediction.
Inscriptions: in Greek in Christ's halo: O WΗ (He Who Is); above the halo of the Virgin: MP ΘV (Mother of God); in Church Slavonic above the halo of St Nicholas: НИКОЛА ЧУ(ДОТВОРЕЦ) (Nicholas Wonder-Worker).
Egg tempera and gold, gesso on wood.
- Production date
Height: 31 centimetres
Thickness: 1.70 centimetres
Width: 24 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The icon depicts the miracle that happened near the Tikhvin monastery when St Nicholas and the Virgin Mary appeared to the sexton Yurysh. The legend was included in an early version of the 16th-century ‘Story of the Tikhvinskaya Icon’ (Snessoreva 1997, 184–91; Bentchev and Haustein-Bartsch 2000, 54–5). It describes how the sexton encountered the Virgin and St Nicholas in a forest. The Virgin was displeased with an iron cross on the dome of the monastery’s church and demanded that a new one made of wood replaced it. The dominance of an icon’s space by a multi-branched tree is a symbolic reference to the Tree of Life, also known as the Tree of Jesse. The iconography of this icon was developed in the 16th and 17th centuries when the subject became popular in northern Russia. The Museum’s icon follows the standard composition.
Cormack 2007, 124, no. 47
- Not on display
- Made from a single panel with ‘kovcheg’; two inserted battens on the reverse; both the original painting and gilding was completely restored in the 19th century; there are scattered later gesso infillings; part of the lower border is missing.
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Miracle of Tikhvin
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- See 1998,0605.1 Most of the items catalogued under 1998,0605 were acquired by Sir Frank Roberts’ wife, Cella.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: IC 47 (Icon Collection number)