Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Miraculous Appearance of the Virgin to Saint Sergius - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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WW038. Appearance of the Virgin to Saint Sergius of Radonezh

Circa 1700
32 x 27.5 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

Provenance:  Private Collection, Denmark

£4,000Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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On the left of the panel the Virgin stands with Saints Peter and John. At the Virgin's feet is Saint Sergius of Radonezh, who is kneeling in prayer on the floor with his hand raised to his head. Behind Sergius his disciple Saint Micah stands with a gesture of reverence towards the Virgin and the Apostles. In the supernal opening at the top-centre of the panel is the Old Testament Trinity.

According to Orthodox tradition, the Mother of God, accompanied by Saint Peter and Saint John the Apostle, appeared miraculously to Saint Sergius (d. 1392) while he was at prayer in his cell. His closest disciple, Saint Micah who accompanies him, witnessed the event. The Virgin prepares to hand a crosier to Sergius symbolizing her protection of the monastery he founded. According to the 1834 Chronicle of Saint Nikon the event took place during Advent in 1379.[1] Saint Sergius is especially associated with the icon of the Trinity, the famous icon by Rublyov today in the State Tretyakov Gallery, which was painted for the church that contains Sergius' relics. Thus in the lunette at the top we see the Old Testament Trinity.

1. See Yevgenia Petrova, [ed.] Russian Monasteries, Art and Traditions, (St Petersburg, State Russian Museum, 1997), p. 146.

Detail Images