World Treasures: Important Russian, Asian, European & American Works
June 3rd & 4th, 2014
auction closed

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Lot 2
A RARE AND IMPORTANT RUSSIAN ICON OF SAINT SEBASTIAN SOKHOTSKY, VASILY PESHEKHONOV, 1855. Executed on a large panel with double raised border, arched inner kovcheg and gilt ground. At center, a finely painted waist-up image of the monastic saint, who delivers a blessing with his right hand and holds a scroll inscribed in Old Church Slavonic with the first two lines of Psalm 39, "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he listened to me, and heard my prayer, and from the pit of suffering he raised me up out of the mire..." Above the saint, rendered in the arched reserve, an image of the Old Testament Trinity. The borders displaying six saints, finely painted in miniature and with translucent pigments and intricate chrysography; on the left: the Holy Priest Martyr Antipas, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and the Holy Martyr Peter; and on the right: St. Basil the Great, the Venerable St. Sergei of Radonezh and the Venerable Mary of Egypt. The lower border with large cartouche displaying a lengthy dedicatory inscription which reads, "This icon was donated to the Hermitage of Venerable Sebastian Sokhotskiy, in Yaroslavl Province, Poshekon'e District by the Sokhot' River, through the zeal of the Poshekon'e merchant’s son Antipiy Ulyanovich Peremakov and the effort of the St. Petersburg merchant Peter Denisovich Denisov, in the year 1855, 11th day." The corners painted with ornate strapwork and faux cloisonné enameling displaying horizontal shading typical of Peshekhonov icons of this period. Additionally, inscribed beneath the image of the saint, "Painted in St. Petersburg by Vasily Peshekhonov." 17.5 inches x 14.75 inches (44.5 x 37.5 cm).
Estimate:  $10,000 - 15,000   € 7,000 - 10,500
Price Realized: $125,000.00


Private Collection, USA


For a similar example of technique, see: Zh. G.Belik, The Icon Painting Heritage of the Peshekhonov Workshop, Moscow, Indrik publishing, 2011, page 178, catalog illustration #7, illustrating an icon of the Pokrov Mother of God, circa 1849, which displays similar treatment of the vestments depicted of the Episcopal saints displayed on the offered lot.

St. Sebastian of Sokhot', originally a monk from the Monastery of the Resurrection in Cherepovets, went to the Poshekhon'ye region where he founded his own monastery in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord. It was located on the river Sokhot near the city of Romanov in the Yaroslavl district. Subsequently, it came to be known as Sokhotskaya Pustyn', because of the river Sokhot' which flows through the Poshekhon' forests. The Venerable Sebastian Sokhotsky died around 1500 and was later glorified (canonized). In 1764 the Transfiguration Monastery was abolished but a new stone church was built over the shrine of the Venerable Sebastian Sokhotsky in the middle of the 19th century. It seems likely that the offered lot was commissioned and donated to the newly built church which was sadly demolished after the Revolution.

The Peshekhonov workshop was established in St. Petersburg by Makary Samsonovich Peshekhonov (1780-1852) in the 1820’s. Upon his death it was taken over by his son, Vasily Makarovish Peshekhonov (1811-1888). The status of icon painter to the Imperial Court was awarded to Peshekhonov in 1856. In his book, Palekh Art, author A.V. Bakushinsky describes the distinct and uniquely rendered decorative elements such as found in the offered icon as the “Peshekhonov style,” referring specifically to the very fine and extremely ornate detail work, shading with translucent pigments and ornamental incised background and borders.

All items are sold “AS IS” and there will be no returns based on condition. The items sold are often of considerable age and will exhibit wear, usage and damage often not listed in the catalog entry. The absence of condition remarks in the catalog entry DOES NOT mean the item is in perfect condition. Prospective buyers are in ALL CASES responsible for determining the physical condition of lots. No employee or agent of Jackson's International Auctioneers and Appraisers is authorized to make on our behalf or on that of the consignor any representation or warranty, oral or written, with respect to any property. Therefore, if a prospective bidder has not examined the property to their satisfaction before the sale, or his/her agent has not inspected the property, Jackson's recommends that they not bid on the property. All dimensions are approximate. The condition of frames is not guaranteed.