"St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker" 18th Century Russian Icon
Egg tempera w/ silver rizza
12" x 10.25"
Saint Nicholas, also known as Nicholas of Myra, is one of the most well known and popular saints. Peasants said that when God grew too old and died, Nicholas would take over. When the Tartars attacked Mozhaisk, he appeared in the air above the attackers, sword in hand, and saved the city. He healed the blind, saved the drowned, and exorcised Demons. He is the patron saint of Russia, travelers and seafarers. He is usually depicted holding the Gospels, flanked on one side by the Mother of God and on the other by Jesus, as seen in the reliefs of the silver rizza.
"...in episcopal vestments, wearing a cross adorned omphorion, giving benediction and holding the Gospel. The firmness of the face, the high, furrowed forehead, the large concentrating eyes accentuated by thick eyebrows, and the short beard represent Nicholas as a stout defender of the Christian faith against heresy, as well as an exorcist and healer." (Tradigo, 2004)
A nobleman fallen on hard times had no dowry for his 3 daughters. Hearing of their despair, Nicholas dropped a bag of coins in one of the girl's windows at night. The next night he repeated the act in another girl's windows. The third night, he found all the windows locked, so he threw money down the chimney, where it fell into the girls' stockings drying there. He is beloved by children and known as Nicholas the Miracle Worker.
Tradigo, A. (2004) Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Translation: Sartarelli, S. 2006 edition.
Los Angeles, California: Getty Publications, J. Paul Getty Museum. p.308-9