The Mother of God of the Burning Bush

Palekh School
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reference number: RI_146

19th century

tempera on wooden panel

35.7 x 30.5 cm

A finely painted icon of the Mother of God of the Burning Bush (Неопалимая Купина). In the centre of the composition is the Mother of God with Christ Emmanuel on her lap, shown within two overlapping diamonds: one red representing the flames and one blue representing the bush – arranged as an eight-pointed star. In the corners of the res diamond are the Apocalyptic personifications of the Evangelists: a man for St. Matthew, a lion for St. Mark, an ox for St. Luke, and an eagle for St. John; in the blue diamond are seraphim and cherubim.  Between the points of the star are eight “petals”  within which eight archangels stand – the highest ranking of the Heavenly Powers. The Mother of God is portrayed holding Jacob’s ladder, which connects Heaven to Earth.


On the outer border of the panel are four selected saints: Guardian Angel, St Eudokia, St Stephen, and St Matrona. On the upper border is a roundel with lord Sabaoth, and at the bottom is the Tree of Jesse. Medallions in the corners show four Old Testament prophets.

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