0305 St Nicholas; Russian; 18th cent;.  35.5x30
x2.5;     £ 1750

0305 St Nicholas


Early 18th cent. 31.5x26x3.5 cms.

Whilst St Nicholas is shown in the traditional image of holding the Bible in his left hand whilst blessing with his right, the icon is unusual in showing the Saint as a younger man. His skin is taught with none of the looseness of old age. His chestnut hair is only beginning to recede and retains its chestnut colour as does his beard with only a few flecks of grey. The red hair only serves to re-enforce the image of a quick tempered man so famously exhibited at The Council of Nicea.

The icon is written on a single arched board with provision for two shponki [both absent] on the reverse which also has an atelier’s scraffiti. The icon was purchased from a British collector, Since purchase it has been cleaned and re-varnished.  There has been some restoration of paint loss on the background and robes.

The icon is no later than 1725 but the thickness of the board, the double kovcheg, the cut of the shponki, the baroque backgound and the manner in which Christ and the Virgin are portrayed all suggest an earlier origin.