the upper portion illustrating the story of the Nativity of Christ, the lower portion the massacre of the innocent infants at Bethlehem, the Christ Child wrapped in swaddling clothes in a crib in a cave with Mary sitting on a bright red cloth beside three angels, the Three Wise Men approaching the Nativity cave on horseback and offering gifts to Christ, Joseph resting in the cave, at centre right the holy family fleeing to Egypt, Herod consulting with the scribes in his palace at lower left, in the lower left corner the high priest Zacharias, St John's father, being murdered, unwilling to tell the soldiers were his son is hiding
S. Morsink, ed., The Power of Icons: Russian and Greek Icons, 15th - 19th Century, Ghent, 2006, no. 49, p. 166-167.
This very well-preserved monumental icon is painted by a very skilled artist in brilliant colours and in a refined style, reminiscent of the icons created in the Old Believers Workshops in the 19th century. Influences can be noted from the Jaroslavl area, from such centres as Veliki Ustyug and Rybinsk.
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