- Museum number
- Object: St Nicholas of Zaraisk surrounded by Saints and Festival Scenes
Icon; painted; in the centre is the full-length figure of St Nicholas, within a red frame, holding a gospel book in his left hand and raising his right in a gesture of blessing. Around are the following scenes, clockwise from top left:
1. The Annunciation to the Virgin.
2. The Resurrection/Descent into Hell.
3. The Nativity of Christ.
4. The Nativity of the Virgin Mary.
5. St George and the Dragon.
6. The Fiery Ascent of Elijah.
7. Prince Vladimir, Boris and Gleb.
8. The venerable monks Zosima and Sabbatios and the deacon Stephen.
9. Sts Paraskeva, Ekaterina and Anastasia.
10. St Nikita (?).
Egg tempera, gesso on wood.
- Production date
Height: 31.20 centimetres
Thickness: 2.50 centimetres
Width: 27.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This version of St Nicholas is known as the ‘Zaraiski’ type, after the town of Zaraisk to the south of Moscow where this icon was initially worshipped. The original had been a Byzantine icon of miraculous properties which had in 1225 been transferred from Cherson to Riasan. In 1237 the ruling princess at Riasan committed suicide by throwing herself from the upper storey of her house rather than be captured by the Mongol Batu Khan. Out of respect the town – and subsequently the icon – was renamed Zarask (later Zaraisk) which in old Slavonic could mean to commit suicide. The image of the saint surrounded by a red frame is often found on northern Russian icons (Rybakov 2004). The particular selection of festivals and saints on this icon will have been determined by the commissioner of the icon.
See also the comments for cat. nos 6, 7 and 8.
Published: originally published in: Tenth Anniversary 1959-1969. Annual Exhibition of Icons. 21st May - July 25th 1969. Temple Gallery, 4 yeomans Row, Brompton Road, SW3, no. 22, 31 and 46, where it is erroneously described as Russian, Northern school, 15th century.
Cormack 2007, 132, no. 77.
- Not on display
- Made from a single panel with ‘kovcheg’; two inserted battens on the reverse; the original paint layer on the borders has been removed down to the white gesso; there is a later gesso insertion on Nicholas’ robe.
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Ascension of Elijah
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: IC 79 (Icon Collection number)