12 x 8 inches   30.5 x 20.3 cm
Egg Temper on Wood Panel
Kuzma Ivanvich Konov
State hermitae Museum - St.  Petersburg

This ikon came from the bedroom of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in the Alexander Palace of Tsarskoe Selo.  It was most likely a gift to the last Imperial family.  They received hundreds of ikons as gifts every year from convents, organizations and individuals across Russia and the Orthodox world every year on special occasions and and as the Imperial travelled around Russia.

Alexander Nevsky was a 13th century Prince of Russia who defeated the German Teutonic Knights.  He was later made a saint and his relics were encased in a mammoth 18th century silver shrine in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St. Petersburg.  This shrine was despoiled by the Bolsheviks and moved to the Hermitage Museum where it was placed on display.  It narrowly avoided being melted down.

The style of the ikon is soft and romantic.  The ikon reflects 17th century models, but the influence of Art Nouveau is obvious and their is no mistaking era in which it was painted. The elongated body of the saint is encased in brocades and he holds a flag decorated with angels on a pearl-studded staff.  His hand is raised in blessing and he stands on a green lawn embellished with flowers.  Behind him rises a decorative and fanciful medieval Russian town.

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