Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Triptych - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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TT006. Triptych with the Descent into Hell, Solovki Deesis and Holy Trinity

18th century. Possibly from the workshop of the Monastery of SS Zossim and Savatti on Solovki Island
6.5 cm x 17 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£1,750Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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The central panel of the triptych depicts the Solovki Deesis, a 17th century Russian appropriation of the Byzantine iconography. In the centre of the panel Christ sits enthroned, with the Virgin to his right, and John the Baptist to his left. Various saints, including the kneeling figures of Zossim and Savatti, surround the throne with gestures of reverence. The left-side panel shows the Descent into Hell, while on the right panel is the Old Testament Trinity.

Small, metal encased objects like this became popular in Russia during the 17th century. They would have been used as gifts for special religious occasions, such as the baptism or chrismation of a family member or friend. Important examples from the 17th century, which are related to our version in terms of function, can be seen in the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (see figs a and b). [1]

Fig. a. Triptych with Virgin of Kazan, Virgin of the Burning Bush and Deposition of the Virgin's Robe, Russian, 17th century. Hermitage, St Petersburg

Fig. b. Triptych with the Virgin of Smolensk and Saints, Russian, 17th century. Hermitage, St Petersburg

1. Sinai, Byzantium, Russia: Orthodox Art from the Sixth to the Twentieth Century, (London, The St Catherine Foundation, 2000), p.197 and p.216

Detail Images