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Rare Russian icons on display in Moscow

Russia: A Land of Iconic Treasures

  • Meaning: Icons are sacred in Russian Orthodox Christianity and are considered a link to the divine.
  • Ideal for: Religious individuals, art collectors, and those interested in religious symbolism.

Russia is home to a rich cultural history and breathtaking sights. From the famous Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood to the spectacular Red Square, Russia is full of breathtaking sites. As such, it is no surprise that Russian art and artifacts represent some of the finest works from the former Soviet Union. As such, taking a souvenir from the Land of Tsars is not only a great way to remember your trip, but it is also a wonderful way to show your admiration for the nation's culture and art.

The most famous of Russian-crafted items are the icons. Also known as Byzantine or Eastern Orthodox art, icons are typically objects of veneration in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Paintings and mosaics of saints, religious figures, or scenes from religious stories, are the most common figures portrayed in icons. Highly detailed and often situated in highly ornate frames, icons are known for their brightly colored depictions of spiritual figures.

Commonly made of wood, bread, and local stones, Russian icons have been used in the country since the 10th century and are the most recognized of all the Russian collectibles.

Tradition

Icons play a vital role in Russia's cultural heritage and are often seen as a way to remember the country's spiritual beliefs. In the past, Russians believed that these creations were magical items that could serve as protection to ward off evil spirits. Today, some of these practices continue with people placing icons in homes, churches, and other public spaces in an effort to maintain a sense of domination and control over any adversity.

Popularity of Russian Icons throughout the World

The popularity of Russian icons is not limited to borders - many of them have become highly sought-after antiques and valuable items in the international art markets. This is mostly due to the detail and mastery that goes into creating a single icon. One can spend a significant amount of time looking into each intricate detail, from the faces of the figures to textures and shading, each icon is a work of art in its own.

In addition, the size and splendor of the frames that go along with the icons are often materials key in showing the prestige of the owner. Therefore, it is no surprise that these pieces continue to be highly sought after all over the world.

Finding a Quality Russian Icon

If you are looking for a quality Russian icon, there are several places to look into. Whether it is in a museum or in an antique shop, you will likely find a few items that will serve as a reminder of your Russian travels. As you can see, these fine works of art are unique pieces of culture that will be treasured for many years to come.

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Mark Thompson

Last updated: October 25, 2023

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