late 19th century
a multifigured composition depicting on the left the pregnant Mary congratulating Elizabeth, also pregnant, in the centre God the Father against a dark blue starry scroll representing the sky, the Archangel Gabriel descending for the Annunciation, Christ in a red halo surrounded by angels, a blue seraph and a red cherub, the Mother of God Enthroned surrounded by prophets, forefathers, princes and holy monks, the lower part showing scenes from the Last Judgement
This rare icon, based on a passage from the Gospel of St Luke (1:46-53), represents Mary's praise of God. The Church Slavonic on the upper border depicts the first sentence of the Virgin Mary's praise: (46) My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
The iconography of the lower part of the icon partly derives from the Last Judgement: devils stabbing sinners who sink into a black hole. In the centre are the rich and powerful, shown tightly packed together, stabbed by angels with a lance. In the upper rght is the heavenly city of Jerusalem, which only the meek will attain. The meek are painted as monks with wings, rewarded for their poverty and continuous prayer. At the lower right, several saints are depicted in paradise. The final text: And the rich He has sent away empty, is represented by the lone, remorseful figure of Judas sitting in a dark cave with a bag of silver pieces before him.
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