Icon of the Nativity of the Lord with Border (Circa 1700) – F139


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Church Feast Day 1



Egg Tempera


ca 1700


Ovchinnikov, Master Pavel


The master iconographer Pavel Ovchinnikov painted this Russian icon of the Nativity of the Lord in about 1700.  It has a colorful and distinctive decorative enamel border which was added later surrounding the icon, whose blues and greens set it off from the yellows, reds, and greens of the interior scene.  

The Virgin Mary sits on a cushion after giving birth to the God-Man Jesus Christ, Who is shown lying next to her in a small crib and wrapped in white swaddling clothes.  They are in the cave in Bethlehem where Christ was born, and two Angels stand over them while the animals look on.   Outside the cave in the upper left, the Three Kings, or Magi, are riding to come to see the Saviour, Who is below where the Star that led them has come to finally rest.  To the right shepherds, having heard from the Angels about this amazing event, have come from their flocks to see this great wonder.  On the lower left sits St. Joseph the Betrothed wrestling with his thoughts, and to the lower right we see the midwife washing off Jesus after His birth.  His face is not that of a baby, but an older conscious person, always aware of His Godhead and Divinity.