Icon "St. Seraphim of Sarov"


The enamel of the revetment of the icon The Saint Seraphim of Sarov contains a pattern of geometric figures reminiscent of a spruce tree and was inspired by Russian Art Nouveau.


The subject of the icon, Hieromonk Seraphim (1754-1833), was canonized in 1903 through the personal initiative of Emperor Nicholas II. According to Count Sergey Vitte, the canonization may also have been insisted upon by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, who had held to the belief that Seraphim of Sarov would intercede upon her behalf and grant her a male heir after four Grand Duchesses. This indeed came to pass, securing the imperial couple’s faith in Seraphim’s sanctity.


It is interesting to note that a portrait of Seraphim of Sarov from the 1820s made in his lifetime has survived to this day, and it became the basis for later icons depicting him.

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