Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Saints Boris and Gleb - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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TT029. Saints Boris and Gleb

19th century
Pierced Copper-alloy
9.7 cm x 8.9 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£320Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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Boris and Gleb were sons of Vladimir the Great, Grand Prince of Kiev, who in 988 converted the Slavs to Christianity. After his death in 1015 a dynastic dispute arose between the two brothers and Svyatopolk, a son of Vladimir by another marriage. The result was the death of Boris and Gleb at the hands of conspirators, but history has laid the responsibility for their murder at the door of Svyatopolk. Ancient Russian chronicles, recounting the story, tell of the beauty and spiritual purity of the two brothers. Once they saw the inevitable fate that awaited them they accepted death singing psalms and praising God. Thus they became martyrs for Christianity and the first Russian saints to join the ranks of the martyrs and saints of the Byzantine church.

For further notes on the tradition of Russian metal and enamel icons please click here.