Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Virgin and Child with Saints - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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XX028. Virgin and Child with Saints (central panel from a triptych)

Greek or Balkans
18th century
28 x 20.5 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£850 [Sold]Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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The Virgin is shown in half-length with the Christ-child resting on her lap. The Virgin’s right hand leads the viewer into the body of Jesus indicating that this is a hodegetria type (she who shows the way). The Mother of God is dressed in a red maphorion and gazes solemnly at her child. Christ is dressed in a red himation and a sea-green chiton. Christ is holding in his left hand an orb – symbolic of his ‘overcoming of the world’ (John 16:33) – which is the same colour as his chiton. Jesus’ right hand is raised in a gesture of blessing. Behind the main image are two saints (one either side of the Virgin and Child). These figures lack inscriptions, but their red mantles and crosses, which they hold in their left hands, tell us that they are martyr-saints. This detail, along with their youthful appearance, suggests that these figures possibly represent St George and St Demetrios.

The panel would have once occupied the central part of a triptych – the style and subject of the current example is a typical of triptychs that were created in Greece and the Balkans in the 18th century.