0306 St Nicholas [r]

0307 St Nichlolas

£1,300

Russian.
18th cent. 31x27x3.5 cms.

For a brief resume of the biography of St Nicholas please refer to icon catalogue number 0305,

As has already been said St. Nicholas was regarded by many Russian families as “one of the family” and with may of them with a member called “Nickolai”, he was. This and number of St Nicholas’ in churches was one impetus to have an alternative almost photographic presentation of the popular saint.

In icon 0306 is an example of this presentation but it also has another less common feature. St Nicholas was a Greek born in what is to-day Turkey. As such he would have had a Mediterranean skin tone. Some commissioners however felt that a more swarthy complexion would be more appropriate. This icon reflects that view.

The icon with two batten channels and a shallow kovcheg dates from the 18th cent. Written on a cedar board, it is finely painted with the unusual feature of the halo’s perimeter being burnish with gold dust prior to ¬†varnishing.

With others, It was purchased by a British collector who was also engaged in the Baltic trade. This icon was, with others, accepted by him in lieu of payment of an outstanding debt.  Since purchase, restoration has confined itself only to cleaning.