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A VERY FINE AND IMPORTANT RUSSIAN ICON OF THREE PRINCE SAINTS, VLADIMIR, ALEXANDER AND BORIS, IOSIF SEMENOVICH CHIRIKOV, SIGNED AND DATED 1891. At top center within an arched reserve the Holy Visage held aloft by two angels floating atop typical Chirikov stylized clouds. Below three full length images of Princely Saints painted against a gradiated background and atop a stylized ground with ornate foliage, and each identified by the ornate gilt inscription above his head. From the left they are The Holy Equal-to-the Apostles Prince Vladimir, The Holy Good-Believing Prince Alexander Nevsky, and The Holy Good-Believing Prince Boris. Each finely painted with exquisite detail and extensive use of chrysography and shading together with single hair detail. The borders also finely rendered in painted faux enamel and the sides and entire back covered in a fine polished walnut veneer. Signed in Cyrillic lower left, “This icon painted by Iosif S. Chirikov 1891.” (See front cover)
$30,000 - 50,000
€ 21,000 - 35,000
Gallery Manic, Paris, France 1998 where acquired by the present owner.
For similar examples see: 1000 Years of Russian Art, Schloss Gottorf Publishing, Hamburg, Germany 1998, plates 207, 215, 216, pages 166 and 171 illustrated.
Of all the icon painters who came to fame at the end of the 19th century perhaps none is as revered for his uncanny attention to detail and unique usage of chrysography and translucent shading all inspired by icons of an earlier period. And very few of his confirmed works exist outside of museums and a handful of exclusive private collections. As of yet historians are not sure in which year the gifted iconographer Iosif Semenovich Chirikov was born, however it is believed he died in the year 1903. Most agree he was born in the noted icon painting village of Mstera northeast of Moscow where he founded an icon workshop. It would seem his sons Gregory and Mikhail were the impetus for opening a shop in Moscow which became quickly noticed and undertook commissions from both the Royal family as well as continued in the field of restoration together with fellow noted iconographer Mikhail Dikarev. Chirikov’s two sons, Gregory (1880-1936) and Mikhail both continued to paint and restore icons into the Soviet period.
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