9332 Central Russian Icon – Pokrov of the Mother of God .
This Central Russian icon combines two different events separated in time by a period of four hundred years but celebrated on the same day in the church calendar. According to tradition the vision of the Mother of God was granted only to St. Anthony the Holy Fool (died 956) who is seen gesturing below right.
Mary is accompanied by archangels, the twelve apostles, bishops, holy women, monks and martyrs, spreading her veil in protection over the congregation. Below, center, are St. Romanos the Melodist and his choir attended by the Emperor Leo the Wise together with the Empress and the Patriarch of Constantinople. These figures are historical, dating to the 6th century.
The icon combines these two events of the 6th and the 10th century both of which took place in the no longer existing Church of Blachernae in Constantinople. The cult and its corresponding image are only found in Russia from the 14th century.
The Feast of the Pokrov is celebrated on 14th October (1st Oct. ‘old style’), the day traditionally regarded by Russians as the first day of winter.
This Early 18th Century icon is painted in a fine hand most likely in an Old Believers workshop. Egg tempera on levkas on a wooden panel. 32 X 27 cm.