Reliquary and Icon "Selected Saints" (three rows)

Reliquary and Icon
Reliquary and Icon
Place of creation
about 1880

A significant portion of the population of the Russian Empire was made up of the Old Believers, Eastern Orthodox Christians who rejected the reforms of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow and the newfangled secular culture. In their icons, they adhered strictly to ancient styles, and in their revetments they shied away from anything characteristic of the new era, such as high-relief incusing, rocaille motifs and imperial crowns made of two hemispheres connected by a curved ornament instead of the jagged crowns of yore. It was typical for the Old Believers’ revetments to feature an engraved climbing grapevine, a symbol of the Christian Church. That ornament can be seen on this icon from a unique set that includes a reliquary board closed by a revetment with insets for relics and an icon with depictions of the saints whose relics were featured.

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