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#Exhibit of the Month

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Several icons from the collection of the National Museum of History of Moldova reproduce in their compositions the miracle that would have been performed around the beginning of the 10th century in the church of Mother of God of Vlacherne in Constantinople. According to the legend, the townspeople retreated to the place for fear of an invasion that threatened the capital of the empire. The gathered crowd prayed incessantly, asking the Blessed Virgin to save the city. In the church of Vlacherne, her ancient vestments, which are said to make miracles, have been preserved for centuries. Among the Christians praying in the church was Saint Andrew the Fool-For-Christ, who came with his disciple Epiphanius, who would later become the Patriarch of Constantinople Polyevkt. After hours of fervent prayers, Saint Andrew was worthy to see the Mother of God passing through the royal doors with a procession of saints, who rose above the crowd, praying together with those present. In the end, the Blessed Virgin spread her garment over the crowd, as a sign of defense and protection, leaving the place. Also, from the legend we know that the city was really saved then.

Later, in memory of this miracle, the Church will order the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, celebrated on October 1/14.

The composition of the exposed icon highlights the interior of the Vlacherne church. In the upper register, in a radiate oval mandorla, the Mother of God soars on the clouds, holding the omophorus in her hands. She wears loose robes, trimmed with gold thread, beneath which red, gilded shoes can be seen. In the lower register, in the center of the gathered crowd, Romanos the Melodist is depicted sitting on the pulpit with the timetable in his hands, his head being framed by a radiant nimbus. He is dressed in festive robes, of the same shades as the vestments of the Mother of God. Romanus the Melodist is surrounded by several ecclesiastical faces and simple people, including Saint Andrew, who urges his disciple Epiphanie to look up at the miracle that was taking place in the church. The appearance of the hymnographer Romanos the Melodist (490-556) in this composition is not accidental. The young deacon began his activity in the Vlacherne church, where, five centuries later, Saint Andrew experienced his miraculous revelation. The legend tells that it was the Mother of God who endowed the young man with the grace of a wonderful voice, he later glorified her in his songs, writing, in all probability, the Akathist Hymn of the Mother of God. The Church commemorates Romanos the Melodist on October 1/14, the same day when the Protection of the Mother of God is commemorated.

The icon comes from the 19th century, from one of the workshops in southern Russia, being painted in tempera on a wooden support with dimensions 59x90x3 cm.

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Publications Journal „Tyragetia"   vol. X [XXV], nr. 2


Restoration and attribution of The Virgin of Tenderness (a new acquisition of the Byzantine collection of the Hermitage Museum)
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

Restoration and attribution of The Virgin of Tenderness (a new acquisition of the Byzantine collection of the Hermitage Museum)

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. X [XXV], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie

Keywords: The Virgin Tenderness, Post-Byzantine icon-painting, woodcut, local icon workshops of the 19th century, Balkan Peninsula.

Abstract: After the once mighty Byzantine Empire ended its existence in 1453, the masters of the local artistic schools from different regions of the former empire preserved and developed the traditions of Byzantine icon painting, enriching them with contemporary innovations in both iconography and technique. These post-Byzantine traditions have continued to live up to the present, as shown, for example, in works of the remarkable Greek artist Manolis Betinakis.

In the history of post-Byzantine icon painting from the second half of the 15th century until the 21st , the period of the mid second half of the 19th century is among those that did not attract much attention of art historians. For fine art connoisseurs, icons of this period were works of practically contemporary painters, and, as a result, the Hermitage Museum, whose icons collection has been formed solely out of acquisitions of private, museum, and state collections, possessed only a few works of Greek and Balkan workshops. During the last decade, the purchase of icons from private persons, this lacuna became filled with interesting works made at Mount Athos, Palestine, the Balkans, and Ionian islands.

One of these icons, The Virgin of Tenderness, was acquired in 2013. The icon depicts the waist-high Virgin Mary holding the Child cuddled up with the cheek to the Virgin's face. Two life-size figures of Archangels Michael and Gavriil are placed in the upper corners; they crown the Virgin with one hand and hold the gold medallions with black monograms of Her name in the other, "МР ӨY". White letters "M" and "G" are visible over the gold halos of archangels. On the background, to the right from the figure of the Child, there are white monograms "IC XC"

The icon had some significant losses of coating and paint, a vertical crack, and chips. Taking into account that in the 19th century the artists often applied "atypical" materials experimenting with water solvent paints and varnishes, the restoration committee decided to use the case for the development of the methodology and choice of optimal materials for the restoration of Greek icon painting of the mid second half of the 19th century.

The Hermitage icon bears many features typical for the late Greek and Balkan painting. From the traditional iconographic type of The Virgin of Tenderness, well-known in Byzantine art from the 7th century, the icon differs by the pose of the Child and position of hands of the Virgin. By its composition and iconographic details the icon finds numerous parallels in works of Bulgarian masters of the 19th century.

According to the results of the technical expertise of the pigments used and iconographic parallels, the icon was painted in the mid-19th century in one of the local workshops of the Balkan Peninsula.

Юрий А. Пятницкий
Old Russian art on the shores of Seine. Some notes on the "Holy Russia: Russian Art from the beginning to the times of Peter the Great" exhibition in the Louvre in 2010
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VI [XXI], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie
Юрий А. Пятницкий
Cloisonné enamels from the former collection Alexander Zwenigorodsky and a new book by Ljudmila Pekarska, Jewellery of Princely Kiev. The Kiev Hoards in the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Related Material
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. IX [XXIV], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie Chișinău, 2015
Юрий А. Пятницкий
Coptic textile from Count Alexey Bobrinsky's collection in the State Hermitage: the history of one mistake
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. X [XXV], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie



 

 

Independent Moldova
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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
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Iron Age and Antiquity
Bronze Age
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#Exhibit of the Month

Several icons from the collection of the National Museum of History of Moldova reproduce in their compositions the miracle that would have been performed around the beginning of the 10th century in the church of Mother of God of Vlacherne in Constantinople. According to the legend, the townspeople retreated to the place for fear of an invasion that threatened the capital of the empire. The gathered crowd prayed incessantly, asking the Blessed Virgin to save the city...

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The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2022 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

 



The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2022 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

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The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2022 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC