The Nativity, handmade Russian icon, 18th Century.
Icon of Nativity.
Handmade Russian icon, 18th C.
The icon is in very good condition. It is made in four different levels,
First wood, second canvas, third gold leaf and fourth the painting level.
Size: 40.5x31.5 cm, 15.6x12.4 inch.
The Birth of Christ has always been celebrated and hymned by Christians in some way or another, as it is central to the Faith. The Word of God in past times may have appeared as an angel of the Lord or the divine fire of the burning bush, but now, from this time onwards, He has become one of us; and not just as a fully-grown man descended from Heaven, but in humility God is born of a woman, and comes to us as a tiny, speechless, infant. This is what is shown in the Nativity Icon, and around this central historical event, other stories surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ are depicted.
The child-Christ and His mother are shown in a cave, surrounded by impossibly sharp, inhospitable, rocks which reflect the cruel world into which Jesus was born. The Gospels record that Joseph and Mary could not find a room at an inn when they came to take part in the census at Bethlehem, and so Jesus was laid in a manger, an animal’s feeding trough. Common to the time, animals were not sheltered in wooden barns, but in caves and recesses in the hills, and so this “stable” is shown in the Icon.
High in the skies is a star which sends down a single shaft towards the baby Jesus. This star is being followed by the Magi, the wise Persians from the East, who are bearing gifts to Christ. But they are shown in the distance, still on their journey. They are not there.