Icon: St Nicholas

Number: 060 Period: 19th century
Name: Icon: St Nicholas Size: 31 x 26,5 cm
Origin: Russia Price:

No saint is as popular, either in the East or the West, as the miracle worker Saint 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.

In this icon, Nicholas is shown with the classic characteristics ascribed to him. He wears a bishop’s stole about his neck and holds a Book of Gospels in his left hand. With his right hand he delivers a blessing.

The 19th century icon is painted in 16th century style. It is a very refined painting with an unusual palette. Like a painting by Escher, his robe is either grey-green with dark crosses and gold decorations or the reverse. His beige stole has golden crosses outlined in black. His Book of Gospels has a beautifully decorated cover.

The background and borders of the icon show traces of an lost revetment (oklad) and the ivory-colored gesso is visible.


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