- Museum number
- Object: The Mother of God (‘Theotokos’) from a Deesis
Icon; painted; the Virgin Mary stands full-length, slightly turning to the right in a gesture of supplication. She wears a deep blue tunic and a dark brown 'maphorion' with a gold fringe. Three gold star-like ornaments on her mantle symbolize the Trinity and allude to her role in the incarnation.
Inscription: in slightly obscure Greek besides the Virgin's halo: MP ΘY (Mother of God).
Egg tempera, gold, gesso on wood
- Production date
Height: 84.20 centimetres
Width: 32 centimetres
Depth: 3.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The Deesis (‘Деисус’ in Russian) was a Byzantine composition of the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist standing on either side of Jesus Christ and symbolizing their intercession on behalf of mankind. This icon would have formed part of a ‘Great Deesis’ tier on the iconostasis (‘templon’), the screen separating the nave from the sanctuary. In Russian art it developed into the so-called ‘representative’ Deesis on which different categories of holy figures – archangels, apostles, Church Fathers, saints, righteous monks and martyrs – could also be employed. The Deesis became the focal point of the Russian ‘high’ iconostasis which was composed of several rows of icons. The figures in a Deesis can be either full-length, shoulder-length or half-length.
Cormack 2007, 130, no. 69.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
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
- Made from a single convex panel with ‘kovcheg’; two inserted battens on the reverse; the upper edge of the panel is damaged and most of the gilding on the halo is missing.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Part of a collection of sixty-four icons, mostly collected before 1937. 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 70 (Icon Collection number)