The Mother of God of the Passion
reference number: RI_014
tempera on wooden panel in silver-gilt oklad
43.5 x 32.7 cm
maker’s mark: initials illegible
assay mark of Moscow, 1748
The icon shows a half-length figure of the Mother of God and Christ Child sitting on her left arm flanked by two floating angels: to the left is Archangel Michael holding a lance and a sponge, symbols of Christ’s Passion; to the right is Archangel Gabriel with a cross. Christ gazes toward the instruments of His Passion. On the left border is a miniature figure of a male family saint. The robes of the Virgin and Christ are painted with extensive gold highlighting. The Mother of God is dressed in richly embellished and jewel-studded red maphorion with gem-studded and embroidered hems. The Christ Child is dressed in a dark green ornamented chiton and a red himation.
The icon is encased in a silver-gilt oklad chased and repoussé in a floral pattern with a large openwork halo decorated with sunburst and foliate motif. The lower part of the oklad is inscribed within a cartouche: This image of the Mother of God of the Passion was ordered by a Moscow merchant Gavrila Poluektov on March 26th, 1748.
The Mother of God of the Passion, known in the West as Our Lady of Perpetual Help, is a variant of Hodegetria. The original icon of the Mother of God of the Passion was first mentioned in 1641 when it was moved from Nizhny Novgorod to Moscow on orders from Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, it was then placed in the Passion convent in Moscow which was built to receive the revered icon. The icon is celebrated on April 30th.
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