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#Exhibit of the Month

It is said that the icons, by the divine grace they have, choose their own places from where they can manifest their powers of blessing and consolation. It so happened that one icon of the Mother of God has remained on our lands from the end of the 18th century, when the battles of the Russo-Turkish war of 1787-1791 took place here. The circumstances of the appearance of this icon in Bessarabia are confirmed by several historical references, from which it follows that the Russian officer N.A. Albaduev, a participant in the military campaign, brought this icon here with him, and after his death his relatives – the colonel’s wife or his mother – gave this icon to the monastery, where he suddenly died when he came there on Christmas to receive communion. The icon of the Mother of God was initially placed in the old wooden church, where the officer’s grave was located, and then was placed in the new Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, built and consecrated in 1816.

Soon the icon became very popular, and its fame increased enormously thanks to the healings that occurred thanks to the intercession of the Mother of God; the names of the healed people, their place of residence and sufferings were described in periodicals. Archimandrite Seraphim, hegumen of the monastery in from 1805 to 1827, mentioned the special veneration of the icon of the Mother of God from the Hârbovăţ Monastery by Orthodox people who are always looking for help and intercession from this icon of the Empress of The World. Believers called it a wonder-making icon even before the Holy Synod issued Decree No. 526 of January 26, 1859, signed by Emperor Alexander II, proclaiming the icon of the Our Lady of Hârbovăţ as the Wonder-Making. Recognizing the miraculous properties of this icon, the Holy Synod also organized religious processions with the delivery of the icon to Chişinău on October 1 and its subsequent return to the monastery on April 23.

The icon of the Mother of God of Hârbovăţ is one of the earliest and most popular types of the Theotokos icons, that of Hodegetria. In this iconographic depiction, the Mother of God and the Child are presented in a frontal position, looking at the one who is praying. The Mother of God holds the Child on Her left hand, and with Her right hand points to Him, the Child blesses with His right hand, holding in His left hand a sacred scroll – a symbol of the Gospel. Regarding the images, it should be said that the icons of the Herbovets Mother of God differ from the traditional icons of the Hodegetria type in a special relationship between the characters, their mutual affection is expressed in poses, in the tilt of the heads, in the gentle expression of the Child’s face. We can say that in the iconography of the Mother of God of Hârbovăţ, features of two different types of Theotokos are harmoniously combined: the Mother of God Hodegetria, or Our Lady of the Way, and the Mother of God Eleusa, or the Virgin of Tenderness.

Exact copies of this icon are still kept in the summer church of the Noul Neamţ Monastery in the village of Chiţcani (Căuşeni), in the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Church in the village of Sîrcova (Rezina), in the All Saints Church in Chişinău (early 20th century), in the Transfiguration Cathedral in Bolgrad, in the Transfiguration Monastery in Tatarbunary, in the Saint Paraskeva Church in the village of Furatovka (Odessa Oblast), in the Saint Archangel Michael Monastery in Odessa, in the Ascension Monastery in Teplodar (Ukraine), in the Holy Trinity Monastery in the village of Mramor, near Topolovgrad (Bulgaria), in the Holy Great Martyr Theodore Tyron Cathedral in Chişinău, in the Saint Prince Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Ungheni, and other churches.

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Publications Journal „Tyragetia"   vol. IX [XXIV], nr. 2

Iconographic patterns of the Dormition of the Mother of God in the collection of the National Museum of History of Moldova
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

Iconographic patterns of the Dormition of the Mother of God in the collection of the National Museum of History of Moldova

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. IX [XXIV], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie Chișinău, 2015

Abstract

The theme of the Dormition is reflected in the five icons from the collection of the National Museum of History of Moldova. Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, falling on August 15, is celebrated for a long time; according to some sources, it was officially established in 582. The canonical composition of the icons of the Theotokos was formed after the restoration of the veneration of icons, when the Church overcome heresy and consolidated the basic theological provisions. Initially the scenes were laconic, with a small number of characters; thereafter these iconographic compositions develop into complex patterns with a variety of characters and attributes. Icons of the Dormition from the museum's collection belong to the 18th early 20th centuries, and most of them represent the traditional iconographic patterns arranged both horizontally and vertically.

Retaining in their compositions the characteristic features of the earlier representations the Mother of God on Her deathbed surrounded by the Apostles, the image of the Savior with the soul of His Blessed Mother in His arms, surrounded by angels, painters at the same time introduced elements of more recent origin, or some details less characteristic of this iconographic model. Two such compositions reminiscent of the famous icon from the Dormition Church of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra and reproduce the pattern of so-called icons-reliquaries, takes us back to the early icons with special recesses for storage Marian relics, to the churches of Blachernae and Kalkoprateya in Constantinople, where such objects were kept. Other compositions include the scene with Jewish high priest Athonias and an angel with a drawn sword, shoes of the Mother of God, or a burning candle.

The collection has an icon reminiscent of the Gethsemane Shroud of the Mother of God, which was popular in Russia in the 19th century. The composition of another museum's icon does not include the image of the Savior holding a baby the distinctive elements of this iconographic type. Icons of the Dormition from the museum's collection are of medium size, only one is large this is the icon, which decorated a temple dedicated to the feast of Dormition. The museum's icons of Dormition included in the recently published catalog of the Marian icons of the 17th-20th centuries, not only demonstrate the original interpretation of the images and decorations but also provide researchers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with a little studied collection of Marian icons that can complement existing sources in the area, as well as data about the temples, from which these icons came, or personalities related to their history.

List of illustrations:
Fig. 1. Dormition of the Mother of God. Ivory plaque, late 10th early 11th c. The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg (https://www.nsad.ru/pic/3_1346080545.jpg).
Fig. 2. Dormition of the Mother of God. Ivory plaque, late 10th c. The Metropolitan Museum, New York (https:// www.nsad.ru/pic/1_1346080351.jpg).

Fig. 3. Dormition of the Mother of God (carved ivory). Rostov Veliky. Museum of Church Antiquities (https://mariamagdalina.ru/?p=8057).
Fig. 4. Dormition of the Mother of God. Rome, 13th c. The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (https://www.pravoslavie.ru/sas/image/100728/72899.b.jpg).
Fig. 5. Dormition of the Mother of God (carved ivory). Constantinople, 10th c. The Worcester Art Museum (Massachusetts) (https://www.ikonostas.in.ua/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/00009.jpg)
Fig. 6. Fresco "Dormition of the Mother of God". Serbia, SopoФani, 13th c. (https://www.pravmir.ru/wp-content/ uploads/2013/08/0108.jpg).
Fig. 7. Dormition of the Mother of God. A cave church of Göreme, Turkey, 11th c. (https://www.taday.ru/ data/2011/08/28/1233394130/01_Gioreme_Kappadokija_11v.jpg).
Fig. 8. Dormition of the Mother of God. The Transfiguration Cathedral of the Mirozhsky Monastery in Pskov, mid12th c. (https://interestingeventsclub.uol.ua/text/3730919/).
Fig. 9. Fresco "Dormition of the Mother of God". St. Nicholas Church, Curtea de Argeș, 14th c. (https://madalinfocsa.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/fresca.jpg).
Fig. 10. Dormition of the Mother of God. The Hospital Church of the Hurezi Monastery, 17th c. (https://ro.wikipedia. org/wiki/Biserica_Bolni%C8%9Bei_M%C4%83n%C4%83stirii_Hurezi#/media/File:RO_VL_Romanii_de_ Jos_Hurezi_monastery_5.jpg).
Fig. 11. Dormition of the Mother of God. Russia, late 18th early 19th c. (NMHM, FB-22918-42).
Fig. 12. Icon "Dormition of the Mother of God" from the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, early 19th c. (NMHM, FB-23384-109). Fig. 13. Icon "Dormition of the Mother of God" from the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, 1885 г. Lithograph from the original of the 11th c. (https://fakty.ua/138804-kogda-s-vysoty-cerkovnyh-svodov-opuskalas-ikona-uspeniya-prihozha-
nam-kazalos-chto-yavlyaetsya-sama-bogorodica).
Fig. 14. Dormition of the Mother of God. Miniature from the Gospel of the Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas, 11th c. (https://www.pravmir.ru/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/0081.jpg).
Fig. 15. Icon "Dormition of the Mother of God" from the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, 19th c. (NMHM, FB-23384-33).
Fig. 16. Dormition of the Mother of God the Shroud of Gethsemane, Russia, 19th c., St. Athanasius Church, Etulia (Vulcănești) (NMHM, FB-22918-73).
Fig. 17. The Gethsemane Shroud of the Mother of God. Jerusalem, 19th c. (https://alchevskpravoslavniy.ru/wpcontent/uploads/2012/10/16.jpg).
Fig. 18. Dormition of the Mother of God. Jerusalem, 1868 г. (https://ippo.ru/img/palom/pl_9.jpg).
Fig. 19. Dormition of the Mother of God. Bessarabia, 19th c., the Dormition Church, Copceac (Comrat) (NMHM, FB-22918-203).
Fig. 20. Dormition of the Mother of God. Ivory medallion, Greece, 15th c. Victoria and Albert Museum, London (https://mariamagdalina.ru/?p=8057).



 

 


Independent Moldova
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
Bessarabia and MASSR between the Two World Wars
Bessarabia and Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the Period between the Two World Wars
Revival of National Movement
Time of Reforms and their Consequences
Abolition of Autonomy. Bessarabia – a New Tsarist Colony
Period of Relative Autonomy of Bessarabia within the Russian Empire
Phanariot Regime
Golden Age of the Romanian Culture
Struggle for Maintaining of Independence of Moldova
Formation of Independent Medieval State of Moldova
Era of the
Great Nomad Migrations
Early Middle Ages
Iron Age and Antiquity
Bronze Age
Aeneolithic Age
Neolithic Age
Palaeolithic Age

  
  
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#Exhibit of the Month

It is said that the icons, by the divine grace they have, choose their own places from where they can manifest their powers of blessing and consolation. It so happened that one icon of the Mother of God has remained on our lands from the end of the 18th century, when the battles of the Russo-Turkish war of 1787-1791 took place here. The circumstances of the appearance of this icon in Bessarabia are confirmed by several historical references, from which it follows that the Russian officer N.A. Albaduev, a participant in the military campaign, brought this icon here with him, and after his death his relatives – the colonel’s wife or his mother – gave this icon to the monastery, where he suddenly died when he came there on Christmas to receive communion. The icon of the Mother of God was initially placed in the old wooden church, where the officer’s grave was located, and then was placed in the new Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, built and consecrated in 1816..

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