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Icon collecting

Throughout life, Russian people have been associated with icons. Under the images of saints, he was born, married. After death, during the burial, people put an icon in the coffin so that the soul of the deceased would find eternal rest. In each hut there was reserved a place for icons, it was called the “red” corner or kut. His other name is the deity, the front angle, the chapel, the icon …

The hut of the Orthodox Christian has always been “marked” in the image of the Holy: it was placed near the gate or porch, it served as a defense against evil and evil people. Formally, the saints were not traded. Shabby, outdated icons could be brought to the icon shop and instead of themselves choose a new one, while paying extra money. If the seller considered that the amount received was too small, he, without uttering a word, pushed the money back. In this case, the buyer had to pay extra.

A keen interest in the Russian icon appeared in the early 19th century and the Old Believers were the first collectors. They showed interest mainly in the works of the 17-18 centuries. At the same time, very rarely did anyone have Moscow or Novgorod works in their collections because of their antiquity.

Already in the 20th century, admirers of icons became more and more. The first collectors, who appreciated the old works, achieved simply stunning success. They actively collaborated with ancient restorers who helped uncover the true purpose of each piece of art. Collectors proudly presented their collections to the public.

Today, collectors who want to buy icons, especially pay attention to those works of art that were created in the pre-Mongol era and “lost” in the early 18th century.

The most ancient icons became the pride of the Kremlin and the A. Rublev Museum. Always heard by collectors “Fryazhskie” icons that were painted in European style. They depict the faces of the saints, and also prophetic plots are captured.

In truth, only pre-Mongolian icons are priceless, because they served as the impetus for the development of ancient Russian painting. The iconography of the 17th century is characterized by an individual style, in addition, they are characterized by a “ceremonial” manner, which in fact is very rarely seen among monastic creations.

Icons of 15-16 centuries are of particular value to collectors, because, unfortunately, very few works of art of that time have reached us.

Today, the icons of that time are an anti-apartment, they cause genuine interest among many collectors, and all because their value increases. But you should know that collecting icons is a very complex process, it does not require knowledge, experience and professionalism from an enthusiastic collector.

The origin of the word “icon” from the Greek eikon is an image. The icon as a phenomenon of Christian artistic culture constantly accompanies both eastern and western church traditions, becoming, however, completely immanent only for the eastern one. The earliest surviving icons date back to the 6th century.

After Christianity turns into an officially recognized religion, art becomes a necessary accessory of the church cult. Outside of the Christian story and symbolic program in the fine arts, only the scenery of palaces and villas, as well as objects of applied art that adorn everyday life, remain. The bulk of all works of art, starting from the 4th century, has a direct church purpose or is included in any way in the circle of Christian symbolism.

The main purpose of the icon is to serve as an object of religious experience, prayer and a long, long contemplation. The function of the icon is mediation, mediation between the divine and the terrestrial worlds, the sign of God or a saint, which, using the means and forms of designation of the physical world accessible to human consciousness, realizes a fundamentally different, divine nature.

John the Baptist.
Iconography is a kind of pictography, a picturesque letter, rehabilitated for illiterate neophytes of the Christian faith. The original meaning of the pictorial image in the Christian tradition is to enlighten the illiterate in the texts of scripture through fiction.
The art of icon painting is completely based on the texts of the biblical, everyday and apocryphal, and in this sense is secondary to them.
The convention of icon painting comes from an attempt to portray a word. Medieval consciousness knows only one hypostasis of the icon – as a prayer image, an object of worship. Aesthetic feeling merges with religious experience, in the Middle Ages a separate perception of these two sides of the icon image is impossible.

The twentieth century introduces a new moment – the study of the icon as a work of art. Religious content fades, the icon becomes the subject of cultural history, acquires museum value and is endowed with unfamiliar immunity from further recordings in the Middle Ages.

The layering of a medieval icon, when an image is applied on the same board on top of another, more ancient (so-called record) is due to the desire for a more perfect image of the deity. It is possible only in conditions of purely prayerful, religious perception, which does not know the icon as a thing that has an independent artistic, historical, cultural value, i.e. the value of “antiquity.”
In the twentieth century, they look at the icon, rather than pray. Of particular importance is the environment of the icon. The spatial context determines the degree of sacredness of the icon.

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