Icon: Nicholas

Number: 040 Period: 19th century
Name: Icon: Nicholas Size: 22,5 x 18 cm
Origin: Russia Price: sold

No saint is as popular, either in the East or the West, as the miracle worker St. Nicholas. He was Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor, and is believed to have lived in the 4th century. Nicholas can be recognised from his short beard and his high forehead, a sign of great wisdom.

A well known saying in Old Russia was, ‘If God dies,we’ll make Nicholas God’. People believed that Nicholas understood human weakness better than any other saint. He defended them against every injustice and protected them. He also protected travellers if they got into difficulty. He became the patron of countless churches, professions and communities. He is present in almost every icon corner of a Russian house because he is also considered to be the patron saint of men.

This icon of Nicholas is a so-called portrait icon. Portrait icons, in which only the face is painted, were only made of princes, bishops and other important people, who were immediately recognized by their appearance. Few were made of saints. Nicholas is an exception. It is a genre which started in the16th century.

Practically the whole field is occupied by the face of Nicholas, who has a quiet and friendly gaze. Characteristic for Nikolaas is his short beard, highly furrowed brow and pensive eyes.

Only his green bishop’s stole, with red crosses outlined in gold, and a small section of his red vestment is visible.

The icon has a silver revetment (oklad), hallmarked:84, St Petersburg, 1896.


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