'Only Begotten Son and Eternal Word' Russia, 18th century<BR />
Lot 181
'Only Begotten Son and Eternal Word' Russia, 18th century
Sold for £5,625 (US$ 9,454) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
'Only Begotten Son and Eternal Word'
Russia, 18th century
an analytical and didactic icon illustrative of the hymn Only Begotten Son and Eternal Word, depicting two angels supporting a circular mandorla enclosing Christ Emmanuel; with above, the Holy Trinity and God the Father, flanked four angels, two holding the sun and the moon, and two others holding spheres inscribed with the Christic monogram; and below, the Pieta; the complex composition also incorporating the Crucifixion, and the Mother of God of the Sign; the lower left-hand corner with an image of Christ as soldier clad in armour sitting on the transverse arms of the Cross the vertical of which transfixes Satan who is chained and being struck by an angel, within the open jaws of hell, the abyss with two cowering devils, the lower right-hand corner with a depiction of death holding a scythe and seated astride a lion trampling the prone bodies of the fallen
35.5 x 30cm (14 x 11 13/16in).


  • The iconographic composition dates from the period of Ivan the Terrible and was the cause of some controversy. It is an iconic representation of a hymn attributed to Emperor Justinian: Only Begotten Son and Eternal Word, which has taken flesh from the Holy Virgin, become Man, and has been Crucified, O Christ our God, who overcame death by death and are co-essential with the Holy Trinity...Save Us. Compare with an earlier panel of the same subject from the collection of Jacques Zolotnitzky. (Paul Muratoff, Thirty Five Russian Primitives, Paris 1931, no.26, pp.89-91, pl.XV.) Comparison should also be made with two lots sold at auction in London in 1978 and 1983. (Sotheby's London, Icons, 13th February, 1978, lot 130; and Sotheby's London, Icons, 15th September 1983, lot 37.)
  1. Daria Chernenko
    Specialist - Russian Paintings and Works of Art
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