Various Icons - pkts of 12.

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Akathistos Collection

Various Icons - pkts of 12.

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Akathistos Collection

12 Assorted Cards and envelopes

Copies of 6 icons as listed below, in colour, 125 x 175mm

Message inside each card: "May the Lord bless you with love, joy and peace this Christmas and throughout the New Year".

Archangel Gabriel (Top left hand picture above)
16th Century
Detail from the order of the Deesis and of the Twelve Feasts

"All the ranks of angels were amazed
at the great event of the Incarnation,
for they saw the unapproachable God
as a man whom all might approach,
living among us and hearing us all cry out, 'Alleluia!'."
(Akathistos Hymn)

The icon is a detail of a four parts composition featuring the two archangels, Michael and Gabriel who re-echo the history of sin (Michael guards the earthly paradise after the expulsion Adam and Eve) and of salvation (Gabriel brings the message of Redemption to Mary).

In the Deesis the Archangels are placed immediately after the Mother of God and John the Baptist, near the throne of the glorified Christ. In their hands they hold the sceptre and orb with Christ's monogram.

The Nativity of Christ (Top centre picture)
17th Century Mural Monastery of All Saints, Varlaam

"Today the Virgin gives birth to the One who is above all that exist
the earth offers a cave to the One who is beyond reach
The angels and the shepherds glorify him;
the wise men set out to follow the star;
to us is born a Child, the God who exists before all all ages.”
(Kontakion)

The icon portrays in a language that is at once marvellously basic and poetic the circumstances of the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem. It finds its inspiration in St Luke's narrative, which is rich in details of the event, and in apocryphal stories which inspire the temptation of Joseph and the bathing of the Child.

Adoration of the Magi (Top right hand picture)
17th Century
Mural, Monastery of All Saints, Varlaam

"O Christ Jesus, radiant light of immortal glory of the Father of heaven!
You are worthy ever to be hymned by voices that are pure,
Son of God who gives life.
The universe proclaims your glory."
(Ancient Liturgy)

The representation is a blending of the icon of the Nativity and of the Mother of God Enthroned. In Christian tradition, besides the feast of Easter, the second commemoration of Christ was the Theophany, the "manifestation" of God, his revelation to all peoples.

Mother of God of the Don (Lower left hand picture)
14th Century Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

"Rejoice, new dawn of spiritual creation,
Rejoice, provider of God's tender mercy."
(Akathistos Hymn)

The name Mother of God of the Don recalls the miraculous help given by the Virgin to the army of Dmitrij- Donskoj in the battle of Kulikovo against the Tartars in 1380.

The Mother of God and the Child are portrayed in the Tenderness style, even if there are some differences with respect to the more traditional type.
For example, the Child Jesus has his legs uncovered up to the knees, and in his left hand he holds a scroll.
Gratefulness and tenderness pervade the Virgin's features.
Yet so luminous and perfect is this lyrical expression, elevated to such psychological and spiritual heights, that it gives the impression of being bound up with a world of supreme harmony rather than human feeling.
Mary's face and the picture's surface are literally resplendent and radiate a divine light, as if a reflection of the love and peace of paradise had fallen across the icon.

The Mother Of God Enthroned (Lower centre picture)
13th Century
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

"To thee, Mother of God, defender and leader,
Ring out my thanks and praise.
In thy unconquerable power,
free me from every danger so that I may cry to thee,
'Rejoice, maiden bride!"
(Akathistos Hymn)

Originating from the Tolga Monastery, near Jaroslavl, this icon was the object of extraordinary veneration.

This type of iconography subtly portrays the theological concepts of the Virgin as "the living temple' and "ladder linking heaven and earth".
To the Russian people of troubled times, it also represented the Virgin of Intercession, protector in times of war.
There are many stories of Russian battles in which the icon of the Mother of God Enthroned helped the troops to victory.

Mother of God Glykophilousa (Lower right hand picture)
14th Century; Mount Athos
Private collection, Italy

"Worthy of more honour than the Cherubim
and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim,
you gave birth to the Word of God
while retaining your virginity.
We glorify you as truly being the Mother of God."
(Byzantine Liturgy)

The Glykophilousa (Sweet Loving) type of icon resulted as a variant of the Eleousa (Merciful) Hodigitria type. The distinguishing point is the tenderness perspective between Mother and Son which highlights Jesus' humanity.
The icon, rediscovered only recently, is a masterpiece of Byzantine painting.
It takes its name from an Eastern Church hymn sung during the Liturgy as well as in Sunday Matins (above)

Additional Information

Cover No
Width (mm) 125
Height (mm) 175

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