Russian Bronze and Enamel Triptych Icon
Saint Nicola and Four Scenes from the Twelve Great Feasts Cycle
Material: bronze and enamel
Dimensions: 10.4 x 9 cm
Period: 18th century
The triptych icon is made in cast and very finely incised bronze with meticulously rendered figures on the background filled with dark blue and blue celeste enamel applied with champlevé technique. Each of the plates and the elaborate crest above the central plate contain very complex iconography with many figures and corresponding inscriptions in Old Church Slavonic.
The central plate is crowned by a crest composed of tulip shape reverse
depicting the Old Testament Trinity. This scene is flanked by two winged seraphim
heads, and it is surmounted by a final containing the Image of Christ Not Made
by Hand. On the central plate the waist – length figure of Saint Nicola is
represented. He is holding a cross in the left hand while blessing with the right
hand. His head is flanked by waist – length figures of Jesus Christ and the Mother
of God depicted on floating clouds. Christ is holding the Bible, while the
Mother of God is holding her veil. On the left wing the two of the Twelve Great
Feasts are depicted: the Entrance into Jerusalem in the upper part and the
Meeting in the Temple on the lower part. The right wing contains other two
scenes from the cycle of Twelve Great Feasts: the Descent into Hades in the
upper part and the Ascension in the lower part.
Despite of small dimensions each of the scenes is rendered in great detail and that is the most fascinating feature of this artefact.
According to the style and manufacturing technique the icon can be dated in the late 18th or early 19th century.
For additional reading please see Russian Bronze and Brass Traveller Icons.