|Title:||Religious Icon from former Yugoslavia|
|Description:||Painted religious icon from a church in the former Yugoslavia|
|Condition:||Excellent condition for a piece this old.|
|Origin:||My 80 year old client's father got this from a church in former Yugoslavia|
|Appraised By:||Sara Kinch|
|Appraiser Comments:||Thank you for the information. The artwork you have submitted for appraisal is an Icon painting that has been created by an unknown artist. Time period for completion of this version of the "Virgin of Hodegetria" is most likely the 19th Century or the very late 18th Century. The style of the artwork appears to be Northern or Novgorod school. This area was especially noted for its iconography painting from the 11th through the 15th Century. The Russian style was influenced by the Byzantine artists, most notably, Theophanes, who arrived in Novgorod during the 14th Century. Examples of this beautiful art form are within the Novgorod Museum. The Hodegetria is the iconography depicting the Theotokos (one who gives birth to God) holding the Christ Child Jesus on her side. The Virgin's right hand gestures toward Jesus and this element is intended to symbolize Christ as the source of salvation for mankind. "Hodegetria" literally means "she who shows the way to God". The first icon of the Hodegetria type is said to have been based on the paintings of Saint Luke, although there is controversy as to this being factual. "Hodegetria of Smolensk" is first noted during the 14th Century and as it was located in the Cathedral of the Assumption. It was here that the Icon is attributed to curing blindness. Russian soldiers asked for the Virgin's aide during their battles. In most of the Icons, the Virgin gazes at the viewer, and in other versions of the Icon, the Virgin gazes heavenward. True icons have a more other-worldly or "fearsome" look as do the figures within your artwork rather than the softer look of other portraits that are religious in theme. Medium that was most frequently used to paint the religious image was egg tempera layered onto a very smooth piece of wood. Gold leaf was also part of the painting technique. Iconography is still practiced today by artists who study Orthodox Catholic imagery. Icons are usually painted on a very smooth and gessoed and sanded piece of wood. Your artwork may have been a part of a church interior that was removed. The artists, as a rule, do not sign the paintings. There is a market for these paintings and the older pictures have more interest for collectors than the newer images. Thank you for your inquiry. Sara Kinch|
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