BYZANTINE STONE ICON OF THE VIRGIN HAGIOSORITISSA FROM VSHCHIZH


Keywords: Byzantine stone icon, gilding, painting, dipinto, Virgin Hagiosoritissa, Old Rus, site of Vshchizh.

Abstract

The fragment of stone icon with the image of Virgin, outstretching her arms in prayer, has been found in 1949 during the excavations of B. A. Rybakov on the site of Vshchizh, the small city of Chernigov principality. After the invasion of Batu Khan in 1238 it was destroyed and depopulated until the 16th century. T. V. Nikolaeva included the icon into the catalog of Rus stone icons as local craftsman’s production of 12th (?) century, exquisitely made and preserved the painting. The icon has been reproduced on the poor-quality black and white photography and for a long time did not attract the attention of researchers. The examination of digital image of the icon showed that T. V. Nikolaeva opinion was incorrect. The icon preserved not only the painting but also the gilding and Greek letters of dipinto representing the monogram of Mother of God. Usually the dipinti or their traces preserve very poorly on a stone and bone, especially on the icons which have been worn on the breast. The painted inscriptions were wiped away and later replaced by carving or repainting. Gilding, painting and dipinti are known on the Byzantine stone and bone icons but they have not been found on the icons made by Rus craftsmen in pre-Mongolian time. The using of all these techniques, fine relief, thickness of the plate (less than 1 cm) permit to consider the icon from Vshchizh the work of Byzantine, probably Constantinople, craftsman. The iconography makes it possible to attribute the image of Virgin to the type of Hagiosoritissa, and the style permits to date the icon to the second half of 12th — the beginning of 13th century.

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Published
2020-06-30
How to Cite
ArkhypovaY. I. (2020). BYZANTINE STONE ICON OF THE VIRGIN HAGIOSORITISSA FROM VSHCHIZH. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 35(2), 361-367. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2020.02.28