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AN ICON «ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON» Central Russia, end of the 19th century
Wood, gesso, gold leaf, tempera 35 x 29.5 cm Condition: after restoration The icon is notable for its archaic artistic language, expression and laconic manner of painting, for its rich colours, subtle and careful modeling of a «facial» painting. The iconography of the composition «Only-Begotten Son» dates back to the middle of the 16th century. These icons, called «theological-didactic» in literature, reflect the rationalist quest for faith characteristic of educated strata of Russian society in the 16th century, and illustrate attempts to interpret in painting the most important dogmas of the Orthodox Church.